How to Whiten Your Teeth
Imagine your favorite person and try not to smile -- it’s pretty hard, right? Smiling is so powerful that it can actually make you happier, not just reflect your current mood. So why don’t we all smile more? Well, for one thing, one-third of American adults aren’t happy with their smile, according to a recent study. The most common complaint is stained or yellowed teeth.
Companies have noticed this insecurity. Search for “teeth whitening” on Amazon.com and you’ll find more than 2,500 products, all claiming to easily brighten your smile. Unrealistic ads claim you can get blindingly white teeth in an hour.
All these products and promising advertising make it hard to know which whitening techniques work and are safe for your teeth. We at Batchelor Dentistry have 7 tips to stop further discoloration and maintain a healthy smile:
1. Substitute 1-2 sugary drinks with water every day.
Many of us don’t realize how many empty-calorie, teeth-staining beverages we consume each day. You can easily drink more water by carrying a reusable water bottle everywhere you go. You will naturally consume more water and have less room for other liquids in your diet. Your teeth (and possibly your waistband) will thank you!
2. Brush immediately after eating stain-causing foods like coffee, tea, and soda.
We love all of the above too, so we know how hard it is to completely eliminate our delicious vices. If you eat or drink something high in acidity or sugar, you should brush pretty soon after to avoid staining and decay.
3. Brush twice and floss once daily
Plaque-causing bacteria naturally grows throughout the day as you eat. How do you remove it? Simply brush and floss. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice and flossing once each day. This will clean up the bacteria before it can cause tooth discoloration and decay.
4. Brush your tongue daily
Stain-causing bacteria can also accumulate on your tongue. You remove it the same way as you remove tooth plaque: Brushing! Tongue brushing products (like tongue scrapers) are fairly common now and are in most oral care departments. Brushing your tongue can also help prevent halitosis (bad breath) so it’s a minty fresh win-win!
5. Schedule routine dental cleanings and checkups
There have been many studies about how often people should to go to the dentist. We recommend at least every 6 months for adults. A lot can happen to oral health in that time span so putting it off longer puts you at risk. It’s better for you if dentists detect underlying problems that cause discoloration early. Schedule an appointment every six months to ensure your teeth are expertly cleaned.
6. Consider professional teeth whitening
If you would like to reverse discoloration, cosmetic dentistry is your best bet. The team members at your favorite dental office will be able to recommend a whitening option that is right for you. There are lots of whitening options and products available, from in-office whitening treatments (that you can schedule along with your 6 month preventive cleaning visit) to take-home products. Professional whitening treatments are more effective than what’s available over the counter, so your teeth will get whiter faster, safer, and with fewer side effects.
7. Try over-the-counter at-home teeth whitening
Teeth whitening treatments involve chemicals that can damage your teeth or gums if used improperly. At-home whitening treatments work, but are less predictable than professional treatments. If you would like to whiten at home with an over-the-counter product, make sure to follow the instructions on the package closely. Do not leave whitening products on longer than suggested, as they can damage your teeth and cause tooth sensitivity.
If you need to get back into the swing of regular dental cleanings or want to consider cosmetic dentistry, contact us today. We can look for underlying discoloration problems while helping you achieve a smile you’ll be glad to show off!