While there are many over-the-counter products that can be used to help whiten teeth, when you want a bright white smile fast your best bet is to have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. A professional teeth whitening treatment can have amazing results, but it is typically more expensive than using teeth whitening products from a drug store. Use the following tips to help protect your investment and maintain your beautiful white smile:

Avoid Consuming Staining Food and Beverages

After having your teeth professionally whitened, it is in your best interest to avoid food and drinks that can cause discoloration or stain on your teeth. Problem items include things like coffee, tea, dark colored soda, red wine, tomato sauce and paste, balsamic vinegar, blueberries, soy sauce, and hard candies that contain dyes.

Start Drinking Through a Straw

While it is easy to recommend avoiding certain staining beverages, some people are not willing to completely give up caffeinated beverages or an occasional glass of red wine. If you want to consume beverages that stain teeth every once in a while, protect your newly whitened smile by drinking through a straw. Using a straw will ensure that staining beverages don't come in contact with your front teeth, which can help prevent any surface staining or discoloration.

Clean Your Mouth Regularly

Ideally, you should brush your teeth after eating or drinking anything if you're serious about maintaining the brightness of your newly whitened teeth. In the event that you don't have a toothbrush and toothpaste handy, or don't have time to brush, make it a point to thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after a meal or consuming a beverage to remove debris from the surface of your teeth and help prevent staining compounds from sitting on the surface of your teeth.

Invest in Teeth Whitening Products

After you have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist, over-the-counter teeth whitening products, such as whitening toothpaste and whitening mouth rinses, are an easy and affordable way to maintain your beautiful smile. Before purchasing any over-the-counter teeth whitening products, consult your dentist. He or she may be able to recommend the best brands and advise you on how to use them. Some people may experience some tooth sensitivity after a professional teeth whitening treatment; if your teeth feel sensitive, consider waiting a few days after the procedure before you start to use any type of teeth whitening product. 

For more information, visit websites like http://www.cresthillfamilydental.com.