Tooth whitening is a major priority for many people. Teeth can become dingy, yellow, and stained for many reasons, from genetics to health to dietary choices. Fortunately, today there are more options than ever before for whitening your teeth. Here are 7 ways to get brighter, whiter teeth.
1. Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene
A beautiful smile begins with excellent oral hygiene. The bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease also create a sticky film known as plaque that coats the teeth and causes them to look dingy. Brush at least twice per day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and make sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Floss at least once per day to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gums. Have a professional cleaning performed at the dentist’s office every six months.
2. Try Over the Counter Products
At-home tooth whitening products run the gamut from whitening toothpastes to gels and rinses. As long as you do not have existing damage and decay, these products are unlikely to cause harm, and they can give you a temporary whitening boost. However, they typically do not last as long or whiten as thoroughly as professional solutions.
3. Have Professional Whitening Done
Your dentist can provide an array of professional whitening techniques that are customized to your needs. Professional whitening, when backed up by proper home treatments, offers results that can last for an entire year or more. Of course, you must still visit the dentist’s office for regular cleanings twice per year.
4. Be Careful of Drinks
Red wine, coffee, and tea are known for their ability to stain and darken teeth. Cutting back on your daily consumption can provide a natural whitening effect over time. When you do consume these beverages, as well as sodas and dark, sugary foods, rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water as soon as you are finished.
5. Get Composite Bonding
Dental bonding is a relatively inexpensive way to clean up imperfect, but healthy, teeth. This flexible resin is easy to contour and shape, but it dries to a hard, strong finish. It can cover stained teeth, repair small chips, and vastly improve your smile. However, bonding is not as durable nor as esthetic as porcelain veneers. You will need to avoid such tooth-damaging habits as biting your fingernails or chewing on pens.
6. Consider Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers can be a good options when more drastic changes to tooth color and shape or size are desired. Porcelain veneers are generally considered the gold standard for smile enhancement when the teeth are otherwise healthy. Durable and built to last, they reflect light very similarly to natural teeth, allowing you to completely redo your smile without worrying that it will look fake.
In many cases, you can cover just a few teeth—typically those in the front—with veneers, and whiten the rest of your teeth to match. This brings down the cost and allows you to retain your own natural chewing surfaces on your back teeth.
Porcelain veneers are more expensive than bonding, but tend to last much longer. As long as you are careful not to chew ice or crack nuts with your teeth, you can expect your porcelain veneers to serve you well for many years.
Bright, white teeth were once available only to the wealthy or those who were lucky enough to inherit just the right combination of genetics. Today, however, there are a wide range of options at all price points, allowing you and your dentist to choose the whitening solution that is best for you.
At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.