Three Ways To Get Whiter, Brighter Teeth
Many things can contribute to a stained smile, including smoking, age, food, and beverages. You can get rid of these pesky stains, but the best method for achieving a sparkling white depends on the extent of your staining. Luckily, a number of in-office and at-home treatments can not only help, but they also vary in price so there is an option for almost every budget. No matter the degree of staining, several options can help you whiten your teeth.
Common Remedies For White Teeth
If you only have mild stains on your teeth, you may be able to restore the whiteness by simply brushing with a whitening toothpaste and flossing. You can also help keep your teeth white by scheduling regular cleaning appointments with your dentist. For an inexpensive and natural whitening treatment, mix two to three teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to form a paste. Then, apply the paste to your teeth, leaving it on for two minutes before rinsing and brushing with your normal toothpaste.
Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn't recommend their use due to the possibility of gum damage, you can find over-the-counter bleaching kits at most drug, discount, and grocery stores. If you do decide to use these types of whitening kits, carefully follow the directions and stop using the product if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Stronger Whitening Treatments
You can visit your dentist's office for a tooth whitening treatment in as little as an hour. During an office procedure, a dentist applies a special whitening gel to your teeth before applying a light that activates the solution. Depending on the extent of your tooth staining, you may only need one appointment or possibly several appointments to accomplish the best whitening possible. The only noticeable side effect of an in-office treatment is usually tooth sensitivity that lasts anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days.
Another treatment available from your dentist involves at-home bleaching trays. Just like most over-the-counter whitening kits, an at-home kit from your dentist involves using trays. You simply spread the whitening solution on the trays and hold them on your teeth for a specific period of time. Because the dentist custom makes these trays to fit the shape of your teeth so the bleaching gel can get into even the small crevices of your teeth, they do a better job of whitening than one size fits all over-the-counter trays.
For Severe Staining
Veneers are the best option for severely stained teeth. Although it is the most involved, invasive, and expensive whitening procedure, it does offer a long lasting white of up to 20 years. The veneer process involves applying custom made porcelain or resin shells over your stained teeth. In addition to providing you with a white smile, veneers offer a perfect smile as they cover damaged or misshaped teeth.
Applying veneers does involve altering the structure of your natural teeth by removing enough of the front of your teeth to make room for applying the veneers. This ensures the veneers look natural like they are natural teeth instead of obviously looking like veneers glued onto top of your natural teeth.
Whether you contact a dentist, San Antonio, Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, tooth whitening is an easy way to improve your smile so you look healthier and younger. Avoiding habits that will re-stain your teeth will ensure prolonging your bright, new white.
by: Chris HarmenAbout the Author:Chris Harmen writes for Silver Oaks Dentistry, a family and cosmetic dentist, San Antonio. This San Antonio dentist offers preventative checkups, whitening, dental procedures, and emergency treatment.