While our teeth are not, by nature, perfectly white, most people feel that they could improve their smile with brighter, whiter teeth. Over time, our teeth acquire extrinsic stains as a result of eating and drinking certain foods and beverages - coffee, tea, wine and soft drinks. Smoking can also cause teeth to stain. They also yellow with age, as a result of acquiring pigmentation inside the teeth.
There are various ways to safely remove the extrinsic stains and the intrinsic yellowing, leaving a whiter, more radiant smile.
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for anyone who wants whiter teeth. Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash are all great ways to take care of your teeth and help prevent stains from forming.
- Flossing teeth at least once a day can help remove dental plaque that has built up.
- It is important to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, after drinking acidic foods. Acids weaken tooth enamel and brushing teeth when enamel is in its weakened state can damage teeth.
- The ADA also says that certain foods like apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers can actually help keep teeth cleaner and eliminate bacteria. Adding these foods into your diet can help keep teeth white.
- Using a straw when you are drinking beverages can help keep stain causing dyes away from teeth.
There are many ways to whiten your teeth; here are a few of the popular types of whitening procedures:
- At Home WhiteningIf your dentist recommends using an at home whitening kit , it comes with a tray, to be used at night and kept for 12 hours. This is usually a course of 4 whitening syringes used over a period of one month with periodic check- ups.
- Professional Teeth WhiteningFor the fastest and most efficient whitening, your dentist can offer professional treatments. These in-office options contain whitening agents in higher
concentrations, and produce results much more quickly than over-the-counter options.
In fact, your teeth may be visibly whiter in just one visit. You also have the added benefit of a treatment that is supervised by a dental professional.
Additional home whitening will be indicated with long-term success of these in-office whitening treatments
- Laser Whitening (ZOOM BLEACH) Laser teeth whitening is an effective way to removes stains, fast. In fact the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that laser teeth whitening can whiten a patient’s teeth up to 10 shades in about an hour. The procedure takes place in the dentist’s office so you should consult your dentist if you are interested in this procedure.