Sometimes your smile just isn’t as dazzling and white as you’d like it to be. But there is no need to worry, today there are many options for brightening your smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Seeing your dentist is the safest and most effective route to a whiter smile. Your treatment will be monitored by a dental professional to ensure that you get the results you want, without causing damage to your teeth.
- If you need to go from a yellow smile to a brilliant white one quickly, your best option is to see your dentist for an in-office whitening treatment. Your dentist will use a whitener with a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, sometimes using a UV or LED light or other device to speed up the whitening process. Your teeth will be noticeably whiter at the end of the treatment, though your dentist may suggest more than one treatment if your teeth have yellowed considerably.
- Dental bonding is a procedure in which your dentist applies a white resin to your tooth and hardens it with a special curing light. The light ‘bonds’ the resin to the tooth to improve the color and structure of your smile.
- Dental veneers are custom-made porcelain ‘shells’ designed to cover the front of the tooth to improve the color and shape of your smile. They are about the size and thickness of a false fingernail. If you choose veneers, your dentist will give you instructions for keeping your veneers in great shape.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
Today, there are many choices for at home whitening but the best thing you can do at home is follow good oral hygience guidelines and follow best practices for preventing stains and accelerated yellowing of your smile.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, first when you wake up and again before bed.
- Pick the right toothpaste to be safe. Look for a whitening toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This means it’s dentist-approved.
- Floss between your teeth daily.
- Limit food and drinks that stain teeth, such as cola, coffee, tea, and red wine.
- Keep a clean reusable straw handy to sip liquids and prevent staining your front teeth.
- Drink water and rinse your mouth after drinks that contain acid and/or may stain, like juice, lemonade, coffee, or red wine.
- Quit smoking to keep tobacco stains away.
- Apply over-the-counter whiteners available in stick-on strips or tooth-shaped trays.
Some sensitivity is usually normal when using whitening products, however if you experience serious discomfort or painful, bleeding gums you should stop using over the counter whiteners and schedule an appointment to visit your dentist.