As a dentist, I frequently get asked by my patients how they can get their teeth to be more white. With images plastered all over the media of celebrities with ultra white “hollywood” smiles, it’s easy to become insecure about the color of your teeth. So what can be done to maintain a healthy white smile? First step is to discuss your concerns with your dentists. Although there are many whitening products that can be purchased over the counter, they may not be safe for you to use. If you have very sensitive teeth or active cavities or infections, stay away from over the counter whitening products because they can be harmful. Once you get the clearance from your dentist, over the counter whitening products such as white strips are a good, cost effective way to brighten up your smile; but the whitening power of these products are limited. Your dentist may offer an in-office professional whitening treatment. The strength of the whitening product is much higher than what can be found over the counter. With this option you can actually leave the office up to 6 shades whiter than when you came in. With the professional whitening technique, a strong concentration of gel is placed on your teeth and may activated by a blue light. Although most people have great results with this product, it is not recommended for people with very sensitive teeth. If you are not in a big rush to have your teeth white, your dentist may also recommend at-home whitening with custom trays. With this technique, your dentist will take an impression of you teeth in order to make a custom tray that only fits over your teeth specifically. Then you are given gel whitening to take home and put into your custom trays. You will be instructed to wear your trays for a specified amount of time daily and you can achieve optimal results within 2 weeks.
Here are some tips to keep your pearly whites sparkling
Avoid drinks that cause staining, yes that means your coffee! Red wine, teas and coffee will stain your teeth just like they would stain a white shirt. If you absolutely cannot part with these drinks, try using a straw to help bypass your teeth. Also, smoking is the number one cause of dark staining on your teeth, not to mention it is bad for your overall health and can cause severe periodontal disease. If your teeth are not sensitive, use a whitening toothpaste on a daily basis, to help remove surface staining. Finally, make sure to schedule regular dental cleanings every 6 months to help remove any staining, plaque and calculus.