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Seven Tips for Whiter, Brighter Teeth

Your smile says a lot about you.  When people have a bright white smile, they tend to show it with confidence.  This makes them appear more friendly and attractive.  Everyone wants a nice smile.  This week’s blog contains tips on how to achieve whiter, brighter teeth.

Avoid Dark-Colored Beverages and Tobacco

Over time, the things we drink affect the color of our teeth.  Dark-colored beverages, like coffee, tea, and red wine, have dark pigments that can stain the teeth.  These stains begin as superficial, affecting only the outermost layer of enamel.

As time goes by, if these superficial stains are not removed, they become embedded into the tooth structure itself as deep stains.

We can avoid both the superficial stains and the deep stains that can follow by avoiding the drinks that cause them.  This same principle applies to tobacco, which can quickly stain the teeth.  If you want to maintain a bright, white smile, you should cut back on coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco.

Use Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste contains mildly abrasive particles that gently scrub away surface stains from the teeth.  Brushing with whitening toothpaste is a wonderful way to consistently remove the superficial stains that develop from our daily foods and drinks, as well as any tobacco use.

Whitening toothpaste does not change the underlying color of your teeth.  What it does do is remove the film of dark stains that can lay on the surface of the teeth.

People with sensitive teeth or receding gums should speak with their dentists before using whitening toothpaste.  It can aggravate tooth sensitivity and even remove delicate tooth structure from exposed roots.  It is not a great solution for everyone.  Ask Dr. Ann if you are a candidate for whitening toothpaste.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes operate in a similar manner to whitening toothpastes.  The electric motion of the toothbrush bristles provides a superior polishing effect over the use of a manual toothbrush.  Electric toothbrushes remove more superficial stains and help prevent future stains from collecting on the teeth.

You can achieve the best stain removal power at hone by using whitening toothpaste on an electric toothbrush.  The mild abrasiveness of the toothpaste combined with the electric motion of the bristles helps keep your teeth beautifully white and bright.

Everyone is a candidate for using an electric toothbrush!

Have a Professional Teeth Cleaning

Did you know that your professional teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist is a very effective way to remove stains from the teeth?  During a teeth cleaning visit, your hygienist removes all of the bacterial buildup from the teeth, which most people think of as the “scraping” part.  Then she performs the important finishing step of polishing the teeth.

The polishing during a professional teeth cleaning is different than the polishing you can achieve at home.  We use a  specially formulated polishing paste that has both abrasive and strengthening properties.  We can remove tenacious stains while protecting and preserving healthy tooth structure.  If you have not had a professional teeth cleaning in over a year, call today to schedule one.  You’ll be thrilled to see how much brighter and whiter your smile looks afterward.

Try Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening

If you’ve done all of the above, and you still are not happy with the color of your teeth, then you can consider trying some over-the-counter teeth whitening products.  Typically, we see the best results from products that maintain great contact with the teeth and contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient.

Any “peroxide-free” whitening products will not provide true teeth whitening so beware the labels touting this.  Peroxide is perfectly safe when used properly.  There is no reason to seek out peroxide-free products.

Crest Whitestrips do have the right active ingredient, and their adhesiveness helps them stick to the teeth for the requisite amount of time to produce great results.  There are many brands of over-the-counter whitening products, so if you need help choosing one, ask Dr. Ann or your hygienist at your next visit.

Try Professional Teeth Whitening

For those who have tried over-the-counter whitening products and still not achieved the desired results, it’s time to consider professional teeth whitening.  With professional teeth whitening, we can achieve the best whitening results possible.  Professional whitening trays are custom-made from exact replicas of your teeth, meaning they will fit intimately and keep the whitening product in close contact with your teeth for as long as the product requires.

Professional whitening gel comes in a variety of concentrations, so we can tailor your treatment to accommodate any issues with sensitivity, time restrictions, etc… We can also help you tailor the use of the gel to whiten individual teeth or prepare for future cosmetic dental work.

With professional teeth whitening, you can achieve a more noticeable and more predictable result in a shorter amount of time.  Talk to Dr. Ann about your whitening options at your next visit, or call to schedule a whitening consultation today!

Talk to Your Dentist about “Permanent” Teeth Whitening Options

Some people have tried it all.  We know you have.  When all the teeth whitening and polishing methods have not worked for you or given you the smile you want, you should consider cosmetic dentistry.  Dr. Ann is an expert at creating beautiful designer smiles for her patients.

Porcelain crowns and veneers both produce the effect of what some refer to as “permanent teeth whitening”.  We put that in quotes because it is not actual teeth whitening.  The new porcelain material covering the tooth can be any color you want, and most people investing in a designer smile choose a bright, white color.

The porcelain color will not fade or stain as natural tooth structure does, so in effect, it is “permanent teeth whitening”.

More Questions about Getting a Whiter, Brighter Smile?

Call Designer Smiles today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann.  She can assess your current situation and make customized recommendations to help you achieve your smile goals.  We love helping our patients show off their bright, white smiles!