A white, healthy smile can do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem – and this is a big part of why seeing a dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year is important, as regular cleanings help preserve the teeth and keep them pearly white. Most dentists also offer separate teeth whitening services for patients that want to specifically focus on this area, but there are also a lot of things that you can do on a daily – and weekly – basis to keep your teeth white. In this entry, we’ll take a look at some of the popular tricks, tips and myths in regards to teeth whitening.
Tip: Eat/Drink Smarter
Do you smoke? Are you a black tea or coffee drinker? Do you have a glass of red wine every night? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the aforementioned, then your teeth are likely to fade from their natural white color sooner rather than later. Now that’s not to say that you can’t still indulge in these eating and drinking habits – or lifestyle habits – but it’s important to brush your teeth immediately after doing so. While you’re at it, try incorporating more “teeth friendly” foods into your diet, like apples. Carrots, celery and even popcorn can help keep your teeth white too.
Trick: Change Your Toothbrush
Most dentists recommend patients brush with an electric toothbrush, but in order to keep your teeth white for longer, it’s important to change the head every 2-3 months. Bristles wear down and bacteria accumulation can actually do more harm than good to your mouth over time. If you’ve not yet gone the electric toothbrush route, be sure to get a new standard toothbrush within the same timeframe.
Tip: Gargle Vinegar
Vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent, so if you can handle the taste, gargle it twice a day before you brush. The cleaning agents in the vinegar help remove stains, destroy bacteria and whiten teeth in the process.
Trick: Brush with Baking Soda
Baking soda is another cleaning agent that can help whiten your teeth. For best whitening results, most dentists recommend brushing with baking soda at least twice per week, using it just as they would toothpaste.
Trick: Activated Charcoal
This isn’t the kind that you put on the grill, but rather activated charcoal is the kind you can put on your teeth. Also known as “activated carbon,” activated charcoal is essentially burned charcoal that’s been treated to adsorb materials. You can either add it to your toothpaste or create a paste-like mixture with water to apply to your teeth to remove stains and brighten your smile.
Myth: Teeth Whitening is Permanent
If only this were true! Teeth whitening is like anything else related to your health and well-being – you have to work at it for the best results. So just because you received a professional teeth whitening treatment doesn’t mean that your teeth are still going to be pristine in 3 months, 6 months or a year. However, watching what you eat and drink, getting into good brushing habits and instituting some at-home measures can help sustain the whiteness for longer.
Of course, another at-home teeth whitening remedy is the popular white strips that can be purchased over-the-counter at stores. These strips fit to the teeth and use peroxide or bleach to remove stains and restore teeth to their natural white color. Like the teeth whitening tips and tricks mentioned in this article, whitening strips are both effective and safe.
Don’t underestimate the powerful impact that teeth whitening can have on your self-esteem. While professional cleanings are a great way to preserve your smile, there’s a lot you can be doing around the house as well. Contact Caven Dental today at www.cavendental.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.