St. Patrick’s Day has a variety of traditions that are celebrated in the United States: the “wearing of the green,” corned beef and cabbage, festive get-togethers, parades and ribbons and shamrocks in various shades of green. It may be tempting to indulge in a Shamrock Shake or cupcakes with green frosting, but keep in mind that the “wearing of the green” might refer to your smile.
St. Patrick’s Day Food Coloring Stains Teeth
Think of all of the food and drinks that are colored green for the festivities each March 17th. Green beer is created simply by adding a drop or more of the necessary food coloring. This can be detrimental to a white smile.
“St. Patrick’s Day is fun, but all of the green food coloring added to our food and drinks can really stain our teeth,” said Dr. Roane, a cosmetic dentist in West Linn, Oregon. “It’s best to avoid as much of this food coloring as you can.”
How to Keep a Bright Smile
Maintaining a smile that is bright and white is done most easily through consistent daily dental care habits. A diet full of crunchy fruits and vegetables naturally clean teeth while providing nutrients required to keep teeth healthy. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day also helps to clean teeth, washing away the plaque and bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing are essential to keeping a white smile. It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – and to use a toothpaste that will help strengthen and even whiten teeth. This removes the sticky plaque that leaves a yellow residue on the surfaces of teeth, causing more serious problems like periodontal disease. And don’t forget to floss – only about 50% of the plaque in your mouth is removed through brushing alone.
Whiten Teeth to Refresh Your Smile
Whitening teeth is simple and less expensive than even a couple of years ago. “There are so many convenient ways for patients to whiten their teeth, whether in the dentist office or at home,” said West Linn dentist Dr. Roane. “Talk with your dentist about the specific services they offer to get started.”
These teeth whitening services can include customized trays with gel that is used for a short time each day as well as in-office teeth whitening that takes an hour or less but brightens your teeth by several shades.
Wear The Green in Other Ways
St. Patrick’s Day occurs each March 17th, and it is the day that commemorates the death of St. Patrick (AD 385–461), the patron saint of Ireland. The “wearing of the green” actually refers to people in Ireland pinning shamrocks or green-colored ribbons to their clothing to honor the memory of St. Patrick. The shamrock has a special significance for this holiday, as St. Patrick used the three-leaved plant to teach followers about the Holy Trinity.
Have fun this St. Patty’s Day and “wear the green,” just avoid getting any green on your teeth in order to keep a white smile!