There is nothing quite like a beautiful white and bright smile. There are so many factors that can impact the color of our teeth. Teeth whitening can help to restore those beautiful pearly whites. There are plenty of over-the-counter options to consider. The best and most effective means of whitening your teeth is to ask about the options offered by your dentist. In-office and take-home kits can get your teeth several shades whiter in just a short period of time.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Your teeth whitening results could last for several years, with the right dental hygiene routines. A part of this routine is of course keeping up with those regular six month checkups and professional cleanings.
It is inevitable to see some moderate fading of your results with time. For the majority of patients who practice good dental hygiene, this is not likely to occur for up to two years. Those patients who tend to see faster fading are typically smokers or those who drink beverages that are known to stain teeth. This includes coffee, tea, wine and dark berry juices.
CAN TEETH WHITENING RESULT IN DAMAGE?
When your teeth are whitened under the supervision of your dentist, it is considered to be safe. Most teeth whitening gels will not damage your teeth. Some whitening solutions can lead to tooth sensitivity. This is typically temporary.
Some over-the-counter tooth whitening products may have different concentrations of the whitening solution. It is generally lower amounts than what you’d find your dentist uses. However, it is best to err on the side of caution. Check with your dentist prior to using any whitening products on your teeth.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LIMIT WHEN YOUR TEETH ARE WHITENED?
When your teeth are several shades whiter you’ll love to smile big and show them off. There are some things that you should skip, in order to keep your teeth perfectly pearly white. For the first day or so after getting your teeth whitened, consider limiting certain foods and drinks. You may experience some mild temporary sensitivity. With this in mind, skip extremely hot or cold foods and drinks.
Outside of that, there are typically no other restrictions to consider after you get your teeth professionally whitened.
BEST WAYS TO KEEP TEETH WHITE
Each of the same factors that contributed to your teeth changing color should be avoided if you want to prolong your results. This includes smoking. Smoking can result in serious long-term damage to your teeth. It can of course also stain your teeth yellow.
Avoid drinking those same beverages that contributed to staining. This includes that cup of coffee, tea or perhaps a glass of your favorite blueberry-infused juice. Tomatoes and pasta sauces, along with soy sauce, are just as likely to stain your teeth.
Avoid them wholly, or consider brushing your teeth immediately after enjoying them. A good oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth glossy white for much longer.
STORE BOUGHT WHITENING KITS VS IN-OFFICE WHITENING
You are sure to have noticed a wide range of over-the-counter whitening kits at your local grocery store. There are toothpastes, mouthwashes, strips and gel kits that all promise results. The main active ingredient in these products is typically hydrogen peroxide. These ingredients are also what you’ll find used as active ingredients in the products your dentist uses in-office.
There is a key difference, however. The percentage of the active ingredient is significantly lower in store bought products. This is not entirely a bad thing. When you use these products it is quite often without the direct supervision of your dentist. If the percentage of the active ingredient is too high, it can actually cause damage to your teeth.
Store-bought whitening kits can produce results. But they won’t be as dramatic as the results that you’ll be able to see from your dentist’s treatments. You may be able to see your teeth whiten just a few shades with the over-the-counter products.
The in-office whitening that your dentist offers can produce results that are up to seven shades whiter. Your dentist may offer a whitening solution combined with a special light that will speed up results. Or may send you home with a whitening kit.
In just one visit to your dentist, you could see the dramatic results that you’re hoping for. It is important to note that whitening treatments only work on natural teeth. They will not work on fillings, crowns or veneers.
HOME REMEDIES FOR WHITENING
A few minutes on Pinterest will show you countless home remedies for whitening your teeth. From swishing hydrogen peroxide to coconut oil, there are a number of claims that these products can help.
Hydrogen peroxide may be effective when used in whitening strips, toothpastes and gels. But these are very low concentrations of this active ingredient. Swishing straight or even diluted hydrogen peroxide around in your mouth can be dangerous. You may injure the inside of your mouth, and may damage your teeth.
There are also claims that mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide, or using it on its own, can produce results. The baking soda is meant to work as an abrasive to help scrub the stains off of your teeth. It’s not recommended to use any types of abrasive materials on your teeth, unless recommended by your dentist.
Swishing coconut oil in your mouth is known as oil pulling. The idea is that the coconut oil contains components that will whiten your teeth and also destroy bacteria in your mouth. There is simply not enough evidence to suggest that coconut oil can effectively whiten your teeth. You will get much better results by simply brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash.
Teeth whitening treatments are effective, when supervised by your dentist. Be sure that you discuss any over-the-counter options with your dentist prior to using them. Some of the over-the-counter products may increase sensitivity, and could result in ongoing discomfort. Contact us today to make your appointment!