5 Secrets to Whiter Teeth
Reclaim your bright smile with whiter teeth. Teeth become stained and lackluster as a result of aging as well as common foods and drinks that leave stains. While brushing alone cannot remove such stains or reverse the effects of aging, there are methods to whiten your teeth and restore your smile. Use these secrets to undo stains and achieve whiter teeth.
See Your Dentist First
Visit your dentist before attempting any whitening treatments. Your dentist will give you a professional cleaning and mouth exam. If any cavities are found, they must be treated before you can use any whiteners on your teeth. Your dentist will also check your gums to make sure they are not inflamed. If they are, you should postpone whitening your teeth since some whiteners could irritate your gums.
Visiting your dentist will also give you a chance to discuss which whitening methods are recommended for your teeth and what kind of results to expect. This is important especially if you have fillings, crowns, or extremely dark stains.
If you want results quickly, consider having your dentist perform an in-office whitening treatment. While this method is the most expensive whitening treatment, it is also the quickest since your dentist can apply powerful, fast-acting hydrogen peroxide to get immediate results for whiter teeth. You can expect your teeth to be several shades whiter by the time you leave the office.
After applying a paint-on rubber dam to protect your gums, the dentist or a technician will carefully apply a high-concentration peroxide gel. Depending on the color of your teeth or the desired results, the concentration of peroxide can range from nine to 40 percent. The peroxide will remain on your teeth for 15 to 20 minute intervals in the course of one hour. Stubborn stains may have to be treated in more than one visit.
Some in-office treatments use a light to activate the whitening agent. This process is more efficient and can get teeth many shades whiter. In-office whitening also avoids the use of trays, so you will not swallow any of the whitening agent.
Dentist-dispensed home whitening kits take longer to achieve results but produce long-lasting results. Your dentist will create a customized tray for you to use at home by making an impression of your teeth. A customized tray will ensure maximum contact between the whitening gel and your teeth and will also minimize the gel’s contact with your gums.
Since the whitening gel contains a lower concentration of peroxide, it can be applied to your teeth safely for a longer period of time. To make your teeth several shades whiter, you may need to wear the tray for 30 minutes to one hour (or overnight) a day for up to a week.
Cheapest and Most Convenient
Over-the-counter whitening products provide the cheapest and most convenient method of whitening teeth. Store-bought whiteners include strips, trays, and paint-on whiteners. The bleaching gel used in store-bought products contains a lower concentration of peroxide than dentist-dispensed whiteners. Use over-the-counter whitening products daily, as recommended in the instructions, to whiten teeth five or more shades.
Maintaining White Teeth
Since whitening treatments will not permanently whiten teeth, it is important to regularly maintain your bright smile. Routine treatments may be necessary every one to two years. Make sure you avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth immediately after having a whitening treatment. In between treatments, follow these tips for maintaining your pearly whites:
- Use a straw when drinking stain-causing beverages, such as coffee, tea, juice, or soda.
- Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily to remove surface stains before they become embedded in your enamel and floss at least once daily to remove plaque. Use a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week to prevent yellowing.
- Use touch-up treatments every 6 months or after a year or two, depending on whether you smoke or drink lots of coffee or tea.
With so many teeth whitening products and methods on the market, achieving whiter teeth and a bright smile has never been so easy. Speak with your dentist to see which method is best for you and enjoy the confidence of beaming your pearly whites.