6 Tips to Maintaining a Sparkling Smile

Categories: General Dentistry

sparkling smileSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

With the holidays upon us, we can all expect to see plenty of cell phones pulled out to document family and friend get-togethers with photos. Is your smile ready? The holidays also bring temptations and indulgences like sweet treats and boozy beverages — some of which can stain the teeth and dull a smile. The good news is that you don’t have to avoid these treats altogether. Our Santa Cruz cosmetic dentist has compiled the following list of ways to maintain a sparkling smile this holiday season:

  1. Enjoy certain foods and beverages in moderation

Certain foods and beverages, many of which are plentiful around the holidays, can dull a smile’s sparkle. Enjoy foods with tomato sauce or dark berries — and those high in sugars and starches — in moderation. Instead, opt for apple slices, celery sticks and carrots. These healthier, crunchier foods help to keep teeth cleaner! In addition to dark berries and tomato-based foods, certain beverages, such as coffee, red wine and dark soda, can stain the teeth, leading to a dingy, aged smile. If you enjoy these beverages, it’s always a good idea to swish and rinse with water immediately after.

  1. Brush and floss regularly

Contrary to popular belief, it’s never a good idea to brush immediately after enjoying tooth-staining foods or beverages because that can work to scrub the stains further into the surfaces of teeth. Swish and rinse with water first if you plan to brush your teeth soon after consuming wine, coffee or dark soda. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be brushing and flossing regularly — and maybe even more frequently during the holidays. Our Scotts Valley family dentist recommends brushing twice a day — once after breakfast and once before bed — for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once a day.

  1. Hydrate!

Parties are some of the happiest and most anticipated parts of the holidays, but be sure you’re staying hydrated. This often means increasing water intake if you’re enjoying wine, spirits and cocktails at get-togethers. But water also helps flush food particles and staining substances from your teeth, working hand-in-hand with brushing and flossing to prevent harmful plaque build-up. If you don’t have fluoride in your water, be sure to add it in a different form, like in your toothpaste.

  1. Use the proper dental tools

Especially after consuming sugary snacks, treats or beverages, it may feel like brushing your teeth with a stiff-bristled toothbrush is the ideal way to clean them. But in fact, our family dentist in Los Gatos recommends an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with soft bristles. The harder, stiffer bristles can scratch the enamel of the teeth, eventually leading to thin enamel, which means the yellow color of the dentin underneath starts to show through. Instead of brushing harder, consider brushing with a whitening toothpaste. This will help you maintain a white and sparkling smile.

  1. Keep your dentist appointments

Even during the holidays, if it’s time for your twice-a-year visit to the dentist, be sure to keep your appointments. Our dentist can see dental issues during an exam that may not be visible to your eye, including tooth fractures, the onset of tooth decay and even signs of oral cancer. Additionally, a dentist can reach places in your mouth during a professional cleaning that you may not be able to reach. This is why it’s important to keep all appointments with your dentist even during the holidays.

  1. Teeth whitening

In just one visit to our Scotts Valley cosmetic dentist office, our dental team can drastically whiten and brighten your smile with professional teeth whitening. Don’t waste time or money on over-the-counter whitening strips that will leave you with inconsistent — and sometimes painful — results. Our whitening treatments are fast, affordable and effective.


It’s time for the fun and cheer that only the holidays bring. Be sure your smile is happy and cheerful, too. If you want to kick off the holidays with a whiter, brighter smile, our whitening treatments will remove even the most stubborn stains and discolorations. Give us a call at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, (831) 824-5111, or reach us online to schedule an appointment today.