from dental assistant Valerie Ducote at Le Bon Dental (4432 Chastant St., Metairie, 504-455-5316). — LIZ MEYER
1. Floss and brush every day with a whitening toothpaste.
2. Get a new toothbrush every three months.
3. Create a mouthwash of equal parts water and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Use before you brush.
4. Avoid coffee, red wine, red sauces, soda and cigarettes.
5. Brush your teeth after eating or drinking anything dark.
6. Rinse your mouth with water after eating acidic foods.
7. Eat raw fruits and veggies to help remove stains.
8. Use a take-home whitening gel tray that is a custom mold of your teeth to ensure all-over whitening.
9. Try a five-minute whitening gel, which is painted onto your teeth by a dentist, remains on all day and is removed when you brush your teeth at night.
10. Try an in-office procedure like Zoom whitening, which takes about an hour and a half. A whitening gel is painted onto teeth and then a UV light is used to activate it.