I haven’t always had straight teeth. In fact, my teeth were jacked up until I was 15. It may come as a surprise but I had braces TWICE. I had spacers in the top and bottom teeth and had to crank them every night. My top teeth ended up with a gap about two centimeters wide and my bottom teeth started to be less crowded. No joke, I had a tooth on the bottom that was turned like 180 degrees. AWFUL. Anyway, so after I took those braces off, I got them again at the age of 17. Yes, my senior year of high school. I have no clue why I did that to myself. It ended up being a good thing because my bite wasn’t aligned and would have caused long term damage. Phew. I say all that to say, that my parents invested a lot of money into my teeth so I take very good care of them and show them off.
I get a lot of compliments and questions about my teeth so this is for you all! So what are my best practices?
You know how the dentist always asks if you floss. Well, I actually do floss. I don’t do it everyday because I get lazy but it’s very important that I do it at least 4x a week. Start by flossing your teeth every other day. Eventually this becomes subsconscious and you kind of just reach for the floss. I actually took this seriously when the dentist told me I was susceptible to cavities and gingivitis because my front teeth were filed on the sides.
Don’t drink soda...or use a straw.
I’ve never liked soda for whatever reason. However, I know most people drink soda and it’s typically the dark ones. Obviously that color is going to stain your teeth. Coffee also causes teeth stains so use a straw whenever possible. I only began drinking coffee more regularly about a couple years ago. Whenever I can, I’ll let it cool off and use a straw.
Wear your retainer.
All these years later, yes, I still wear my retainer. For many years I wore it religiously but I started slacking and noticed my bottom teeth shift. I ended up going to the ortho this year and getting a wire retainer to align my teeth again. I’m telling y’all I’m anal about teeth. But, seriously wear your retainer. Braces aren’t cheap and you don’t want crooked teeth.
If you don’t drink soda/coffee or smoke, you shouldn’t have to whiten that often. Before this year, I hadn’t whitened my teeth since college. You can stalk old photos and my teeth were still pearly. I merely decided to whiten because the dentist was running a promo. My teeth get really sensitive when I whiten and it’s no fun. This time around, the dentist gave me prescription fluoride toothpaste to use after the trays.
Honestly, this is all basic stuff the dentist tells you every single time. I think the biggest take away or “secret” is not drinking dark drinks. If your teeth are stained from that, I’d say go get trays from the dentist and then stave off dark beverages. I bet you won’t have to whiten your teeth for a very long time. Let me know though because I actually didn’t research this.