Birminghamians have SO much to smile about. Springtime has finally arrived. Outdoor festivals are opening. UA, AU and UAB football practice is kicking off. Vulcan Park has started their walking tours. You’re smiling from ear to ear. But wait. Does your smile need a spring pick-up? No worries. Bham Now and Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics have got you covered with tips to brighten those pearly whites right here.
Live Life with a Smile, and Good Dental Care
Northerners make fun of us southerners for smiling so much. But we know we love a warm smile whether we’re in a checkout line at ‘The Pig’, getting another knowing grin from hectic parents at McWane Science Center or even from a friendly football rivalry buddy.
We want that smile to be warm, friendly and pretty too. Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums can improve your overall health, and boost self-confidence to smile without hesitation.
So, how can you achieve a bright, picture perfect smile? We wanted to ask a local expert for their advice, so of course we reached out to Dr. G. Robin Pruitt, Jr. and the staff at Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics. They gave us some helpful tips to ward off stains, habits to make (and break), and their recommendations to brighten teeth. Here we go.
Tip #1 Keep regular dental appointments and schedule TWO cleanings a year
“Going to dentist appointments isn’t what most people look forward to, but it’s essential to allow both hygienists and dentists to monitor the health of your mouth, as well as maintaining your smile” says Dr. Pruitt.
“Keeping 6-month cleaning appointments helps to remove stains and polish them away, and fluoride treatments will help maintain healthy enamel – the white part of the teeth! We promise that making visits to Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics won’t seem like a chore at all. You’ll even get a warm smile back when you enter.”
Tip #2 Be aware of stain causers
You probably already know that coffee, tea and red wine can leave your teeth looking less than sparkling. And, let’s face it. We love some coffee and sweet tea in Birmingham. But, there are other culprits as well.
Food and drinks such as spinach, blueberries, blackberries, BBQ sauce (hello!), sugary treats, dark sodas & coffee, can all stain teeth. So, you may want to think about (reusable) straws for some drinks and be ready to rinse your teeth after eating certain foods.
“The good news is that most food and drink stains can usually be removed or at least improved during a cleaning appointment.”, says Dr. Pruitt.
Tip #3 Consume certain foods
Did you know there are some foods that can actually brighten your teeth? Fruits and vegetables, like celery, carrots and apples, are naturally abrasive, which makes them great at rubbing off stains. Foods high in calcium such as cheese and yogurt are great for strengthening teeth enamel and appearance. (Hint: Try the Busy Corner in the Pizitz Food hall for a tasty cheese board.)
Tip #4 Use whitening toothpaste, rinse, and strips
A simple “off-the-shelf” remedy to brighten your smile over time is to use teeth whitening toothpaste and mouth rinse products. Whitening strips can also be used which are usually applied to the teeth twice a day for an average of two weeks. Your teeth should begin to look whiter within a few days of using the strips and the results should last 2-4 months.
Please note: The American Dental Association recommends that you consult your dental professional before trying any type of tooth whitening procedure. Your dentist knows you and your teeth best and can advise on the right choice for you.
Tip #5 Lunch time professional whitening service
When you choose in-office tooth whitening, stronger whitening ingredients are used to safely complete your treatment and deliver great results in less time.
The in-office Zoom! Whitening service offered by Vestavia Family Dentistry & Family Aesthetics gives “affordable and noticeable results, with a smile up to 3 shades brighter, in only a 90-minute appointment”, says Dr. Pruitt.
Alternatively, custom fitted whitening gel trays can be made just for you by your dentist. They generally come with 2 syringes of bleaching gel which are good for 6-8 applications at home,.
Dentists recommend using custom fitted mouth trays as tooth whitening gel can leak out of ill-fitting “off-the-shelf” trays, (yuck!) as well as not whitening as efficiently as custom trays.
Take care of your teeth and brighten up the day with a smile!
If you have any questions about any of these tips or how to improve your smile, Dr. Pruitt and the entire staff at Vestavia Family Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics welcome your questions and want to help you in any way possible! You can reach them at 205-823-3223 or visit the website at:www.vestaviafamilydentistry.com
Smile on, Birmingham. We’ll give you a good, warm smile back too.