Brightening your smile is as easy as visiting your dentist for a whitening treatment, or purchasing one of the many at-home treatment options available. You don't necessarily have to change your habits to whiten your teeth. Simply replacing your regular toothpaste with whitening toothpaste is a great way to start whitening your smile gradually. Using a whitening mouthwash, trying whitening pens, strips or trays are all good ways to supplement your normal oral hygiene habits. If you regularly chew gum after meals, there are some brands of chewing gum that claim to whiten teeth.
Certain foods and beverages can cause teeth to become discolored. These foods include coffee, tea, wine and sports drinks. Smoking can also cause teeth to stain.
While our teeth are not, by nature, perfectly white, most people feel that they could improve their smile with brighter, whiter teeth. Over time, our teeth acquire extrinsic stains as a result of eating and drinking certain foods and beverages. They also yellow with age, as a result of acquiring pigmentation inside the teeth. There are various ways to safely remove the extrinsic stains and the intrinsic yellowing, leaving a whiter, more radiant smile. 3
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for anyone who wants whiter teeth. Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash are all great ways to take care of your teeth and help prevent stains from forming.
Flossing teeth at least once a day can help remove dental plaque that has built up.
It is important to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, after eating and drinking acidic foods. Acids weaken tooth enamel and brushing teeth when enamel is in its weakened state can damage teeth.
The ADA also says that certain foods like apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers can actually help keep teeth cleaner and eliminate bacteria. 4 Adding these foods into your diet can help keep teeth white.
Using a straw when you are drinking beverages can help keep stain causing dyes away from teeth. This is especially true for beverages like coffee, tea, wine and sports drinks. 5
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There are many ways to whiten your teeth; here are a few of the popular types of whitening procedures:
At Home Whitening
To keep teeth white, it's not enough to get your teeth whitened once and expect them to stay that way. If your dentist recommends using an at home whitening kit, he will send you home with this whitening treatment with instructions to use it according to label directions. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and excessively drinking stain-causing liquids, may require more frequent touch-ups. Speak with your dentist for more information about the at-home whitening method best suited for you.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, you could try using over-the-counter products, like whitening toothpaste, whitening strips or a whitening pen. These products are all available in supermarkets and drugstores.
Professional Teeth Whitening
For the fastest and most efficient whitening, your dentist can offer professional treatments. These in-office options contain whitening agents in higher concentrations, and produce results much more quickly than over-the-counter options. In fact, your teeth may be visibly whiter in just one visit. You also have the added benefit of a treatment that is supervised by a dental professional. Additional home whitening will be indicated with long-term success of these in-office whitening treatments.
Laser teeth whitening is an effective way to removes stains, fast. In fact the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that laser teeth whitening can whiten a patient’s teeth up to 10 shades in about an hour. The procedure takes place in the dentist’s office so you should consult your dentist if you are interested in this procedure.6
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