Patients often come into the office looking for the best way to whiten their teeth. Surprisingly, the solution to whiten is not always the same for each patient! There are several different methods for whitening the teeth. Detailed below are 8 different options that may be the right solution for you to achieve a brighter, whiter smile
1) Dental Cleaning
The first place to start is at your dentist’s office. A dental cleaning is a great way to remove surface stains and the polishing that is performed by the dental hygienist will brighten up the enamel as well as make it smoother. The smoother the teeth are the less likely they are to pick up stains.
2) Whitening Strips
Over the counter whitening strips can help brighten the teeth for some patients. These strips will work as long as your teeth are straight. If the teeth are rotated or crowded, the strips will not adhere fully and properly to the teeth. This can be troublesome because the areas not reached by the strip can actually appear to look darker! Keep in mind however that these and other over-the-counter products sold are NOT approved by the American Dental Association for use.
3) Custom Bleach Trays
A great way to whiten your teeth is by having custom bleach trays made by your dentist. These trays will hold a prescription whitening gel that your dentist will instruct you how to use. The trays work great and patients can hold on to them so that they can use them to touch up the shade of their teeth from time to time. “The best time to whiten is after a cleaning,” states Dr. Meier. “After a cleaning all of the surface stains are removed and the surface is smooth so the gel can spread evenly.”
4) In Office Whitening Treatment
In office whitening treatment is another great option for whitening. The procedure takes approximately an hour and patients get instant results which is great! A light shines on the teeth and works with a special gel formulation designed to whiten. In the past this treatment frequently caused a lot of sensitivity; however, newer ingredients combat sensitivity and patients are very comfortable throughout the treatment. This is a wonderful option for patients that have an event coming up like a wedding!
5) Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is a great way to whiten and start the road to a healthier you. The stains from tobacco are very tough to get off and get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth. The tobacco stain will make your teeth appear yellow in color and they are very stubborn stains. If you need help with smoking cessation please let your dentist know as they are there to help you.
6) Avoid Stain-Causing Foods
Certain foods will stain your teeth so just by simply avoiding them you can achieve whiter teeth. These foods include coffee, cranberry juice, red wine, tea, and dark berries. Also sports and energy drinks cause the enamel to erode. Once the enamel has eroded the teeth pick up stain more easily and will not look as bright. Often they will look translucent. Dr. Meier suggests using a straw so the beverage passes right by the teeth.
7) Eat Natural, Stain-Removing Foods
Enjoy foods that will naturally whiten your teeth. Strawberries have an ingredient called malic acid which works naturally to remove the stains from teeth. Also hard crunchy foods like apples, celery, and carrots will encourage saliva production and clean the teeth.
8) Daily Home Care
By brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist regularly, you are already off to a great start for white teeth. Brushing regularly disrupts plaque formation and prevents stains from forming. Dr. Meier suggests using an electric toothbrush as they are better at removing surface stains on the enamel than a manual brush. She also reminds patients to remember to brush the tongue too as stains and bacteria can build up and get to the teeth, leading to discoloration.
Another great tip is after drinking or eating foods that can potentially stain your teeth you should definitely rinse with water. If you can brush that’s even better!
Call us to schedule your free whitening consultation today and we will help you determine the best way to whiten your teeth!