We have always been taught that to have brighter and whiter teeth, regular brushing and flossing are the keys. But, despite your best efforts to maintain the health and cleanliness of your teeth, they still seem to have stains and discolorations. Do not fret because you are not the only one with this problem. In fact, when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry did a survey and asked people what they would most likely improve about their smile, the most common response was to have whiter teeth. Moreover, the American Association of Orthodontists also claimed that their study showed nearly 90% of orthodontic patients have requested for some tooth whitening tips and treatments from their dentists. These bits of facts just show that many people experience teeth staining and discoloration, and all of them need effective tooth whitening tips to help them cope with this aesthetic-based dental issue.
Effective tooth whitening tips
Consult with your dentist
This is, by far, the best tip that we can ever give you. We have to admit that there are so many reasons why our teeth lose their natural whiteness. We cannot just decide on which procedure would be effective for our issue without even addressing the cause of the problem, right? A dental provider will examine your teeth and provide a tooth color examination that includes the reason your teeth have darkened. He will give you facts about realistic outcomes like how the existing restorations may not change color. He will also give recommendations for a tooth-whitening regimen that is tailored to your needs. Two types of tooth whitening treatment supervised by a dental professional can include a customized take-home teeth whitening system or an in-office treatment using higher concentrations of the bleaching agent that may also be activated with light or laser. It is said that the higher in-office concentrations whiten the teeth faster, but the definitive tooth color or results will be the same with either method.
Good alternative whitening options
Once you have consulted with your dental provider, over-the-counter tooth whitening products such as strips and gels found in any local supermarket offer a whitening substitute. They are available in different concentrations to suit every person’s preference and need. One stern reminder is uniform to all these alternatives: users should strictly follow the maker’s instructions. Dental experts claim that the whitening strips do work and are generally safe, but they also warn about the harsh effects of overusing these products. Studies have shown that teeth whitening agents may cause the teeth to be brittle or reduce its firmness. There are also some that may cause subtle surface changes on existing restorations. Moreover, a lot of patients who tried DIY tooth whitening procedures complain of tooth and gum sensitivity after using the products the wrong way.
Be mindful of home remedies
You must have seen it on the internet, or your parents and older relatives suggested some tooth whitening tips that you can do at home. They are natural, chemical-free, and have no side-effects, so they say. A variety of these do-it-yourself teeth-whitening options appear on the internet and are becoming more popular as more and more people are becoming health and environment-conscious and would rather go natural. Some of those options avoid chemicals; however, current studies show that natural ingredients — such as strawberries, coconut oil, and charcoal — may remove superficial stains but do not necessarily change your tooth color.
Refrain from high-colored foods and drinks
Can teeth whitening procedures and treatments last longer? You spent a good amount of money for it, so wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy them much longer? Sure, your brilliantly whitened teeth can be maintained, only if you change some of the things that you are used to doing. For instance, consuming tooth-staining foods and beverages. Yes, coffee and tea addicts, we are talking to you. Sorry, but these drinks are one of the worst offenders that cause teeth staining. It is also best to avoid drinking sodas or sports drinks rich in color immediately after or while vigilantly maintaining your teeth whitening. Moreover, highly acidic foods should be avoided following your teeth whitening procedure such as oranges and strawberries. This is because according to dental experts, it takes time for saliva to create a natural protective coat around tooth surfaces after teeth-whitening.
Watch out for tooth sensitivity
Look at this tooth whitening in two ways; a patient who has teeth sensitivity before and after the treatment. For patients with existing tooth sensitivity, you should let your dentist know about this complaint so he can take note of this symptom when he performs his comprehensive exam to determine if you are a good candidate or not. It is possible for individuals suffering from tooth sensitivity to have their teeth whitened. The important thing is to talk with a dental professional first. Most dentists will initiate a de-sensitivity regimen, including applying fluoride or potassium nitrate on the teeth for two weeks before bleaching.
For patients who underwent their chosen teeth whitening procedure who complain of developing tooth sensitivity, dentists would blame it on the procedure itself. The amounts of bleaching ingredients the product contains, up to the way it was used (how and how long) would show that the chemicals may have affected the gums or overly absorbed by the teeth that it reached the inner part of the teeth that contains the nerves and blood vessels called the pulp.
Avail of teeth-whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes as maintenance
Individuals who recently whitened their teeth are encouraged to maintain proper care with over-the-counter toothpaste and mouthwashes. These can be used as routine maintenance to remove stains, Kwon says. Whether you used over the counter bleaching strips or visited the dentist for teeth whitening, whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are safe to use.
Prefer occasional touch-ups
It would have been nice if one whitening session settles it and achieves that shine and glow that you want for your teeth. But the truth is, whether you use over-the-counter tooth-whitening products or seek care from a dental provider, the effects of either method typically last from mere months up to three years. Discoloration may accumulate slowly again but will not return to its original, pre-treatment shade. In order to maintain those pearly whites, your dentist may recommend touch-ups every now and then if you notice a relapse.