In a world that snaps selfies and advises flashing strangers a smile to brighten their day, it’s not at all uncommon to want to have brilliantly pearly whites. And while you may use photo editing apps to brighten up your teeth in pictures, you can’t exactly do that in real life.
So how are you supposed to make sure that, when you flash a smile, your teeth don’t appear yellow and dull? Luckily, there are plenty of teeth whitening methods on the market that can help improve the color of your smile. However, once they’re white, you’ll want to do what you can to make sure you keep them that way.
Ways You Can Whiten Your Smile
Certain toothpastes contain ingredients that can help brighten your smile over time. Since you (hopefully) are using this product every day, there isn’t too high of an amount of active whitening agents. While whitening toothpaste can improve the shade of your teeth, it will take a longer time to do so.
You should also proceed with caution when using whitening toothpastes. If you’re using store-bought pastes, you should buy a product that whitens but also works to strengthen your enamel otherwise you could be prone to sensitivity. If you try a DIY paste made with baking soda, be careful to not use it too often as the baking soda is corrosive and can wear down your enamel.
You can head to any local drugstore and choose from a number of different brands of whitening strips. Typically, you’ll wear these for 30 to 60 minutes a day for a week or two before seeing the final results. Depending on the current coloring of your teeth, whitening strips may get your teeth several shades whiter.
The downsides of whitening strips tend to be that the strips don’t stick to your teeth too securely and move around, the whitening solution can get on your gums and affect their color, and the strips may wear down your enamel and, over time, lead to increased sensitivity.
At-Home Whitening Kits
If you’re looking for quicker results than toothpaste and strips will get you, consider an at-home whitening kit. Your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and send it off so customs trays can be made that perfectly fit your teeth. You will then receive a kit with whitening agents that you will put into the trays at home. Typically this method shows decent results after two weeks or so.
This is the best way to whiten your teeth if you’re in a hurry or have a special event. Zoom! Whitening is an in-office procedure that can get your teeth up to eight shades whiten in just one hour. While the treatment can be a bit expensive, it’s well worth it if you’re looking for quick, lasting results.
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to discolored or even damaged teeth, veneers may be a good option for you. Veneers are porcelain caps that are placed over your teeth to give you a straighter, whiter, and more attractive smile.
How to Keep Your Teeth White
Once you’ve achieved our ideal whitening results, you don’t want to allow your teeth to become discolored again any time soon.
Watch Your Diet
When picking certain foods and drinks, see if the item passes the “white lab coat” test — if it would stain a white lab coat, it will stain your teeth. Especially right after your treatment (Zoom!, at-home, or strips) avoid eating any foods that could discolor your teeth.
Brush After Meals
Even if you’re not using a whitening toothpaste, be sure to brush your teeth after each meal to get rid of any leftover food or drink residue that may linger.
Don’t Skip Cleanings
If you don’t keep up with regular cleanings, plaque and tartar will develop on your teeth that regular brushing simply can’t get rid of. As long as your teeth are covered in this buildup, whitening treatments can’t penetrate even the surface, so they won’t be able to work as well. Plus, plaque and tartar can yellow your teeth to begin with.
When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, different patients have different needs. Some will benefit from one simple treatment, while others may need complex smile makeovers. Fortunately, our dental team uses the latest treatments to improve any aesthetic concerns you have with your natural teeth. Richardson Dentistry can help you create a smile you feel confident about.
You deserve to feel great about your smile! Call Richardson Dentistry at (972) 218-0078 to get started with a consultation for cosmetic dental services.