A bright white smile becomes harder to maintain as you get older and as your teeth are exposed to different substances that cause discolouration and stains. Brushing and flossing twice a day, as well as visits to your dentist twice a year will help to keep your teeth free of plaque, but won’t address general tooth discolouration that happens as a natural consequence of ageing. The only way to brighten the overall shade of your teeth and remove stubborn stains is through professional teeth whitening treatments. Let’s take a step by step look at how to keep teeth white.
How To Keep Teeth White And Healthy?
Your Dental Hygiene Needs Change As You Get Older
When we are born we all have white dentin, a layer inside your tooth under your dental enamel. When we are younger, brushing and flossing are enough to keep our teeth bright and clean but as we age, the dentin changes colour and turns yellow. This, combined with the effects of eating and drinking, can cause the shade of your teeth to turn dull.
Extrinsic tooth stains can be caused by
- Using tobacco products
- Drinking beverages that cause stains like caffeinated sodas, coffee and red wine
- Eating foods that stain such as beetroot, dark curries
The only way to address intrinsic and extrinsic stains is to ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening that can penetrate dental enamel safely.
Why Home Remedies Aren’t A Good Idea?
The internet is rife with advice on how to use home and natural remedies to brighten your smile. Fruit acids, baking soda, activated charcoal and lemon juice are all offered up as solutions to brighten teeth but ultimately acidic and abrasive products can cause damage to your dental enamel.
There are plenty of over the counter remedies available too. A plethora of whitening kits, strips and toothpaste all claim to give you a sparkling smile but remember that only registered health practitioners are certified to administer whitening treatments that contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide. And that’s important because anything weaker is not going to be able to penetrate your dental enamel to lift those intrinsic stains and whiten your teeth.
Instead of wasting your time and money with ineffective products, professional whitening offers you safe, effective results.
Why Safe Teeth Whitening Needs To Be Practiced?
As there are so many options vying for consumer attention out there, working with a professional dental practitioner is the best way to ensure you whiten your teeth safely. Your dentist will only use tried and approved teeth whitening products that can remineralise and strengthen your teeth.
Your dentist will recommend the most appropriate strength of bleaching agent to help you achieve your whitening goals. In order to do this, he or she will need to take into account how urgent your whitening needs are, and how long you have to achieve them.
How To Keep Teeth White: Professional Whitening Treatments?
In-chair whitening treatments
In-chair teeth whitening is the safest and most effective way to whiten your smile because your dentist is in control the whole time. Before your whitening treatment, your dentist will inspect your mouth and teeth to look for dental decay and to check the state of your gum health. Your teeth will be cleaned professionally and any plaque and tartar will be removed.
You will discuss your teeth whitening expectations with your dental practitioner, who will select the most suitable bleaching agent for the job. Your gums and soft tissue will be covered, and then each of your teeth will have its surfaces painted over with bleaching gel. The gel will be activated with a laser for 15 minutes, before being rinsed off. The process may be repeated two or three times, or until you have reached your desired shade.
Whitening With Take-home Trays
If you are in less of a rush for your whitening treatment, you may be a candidate for at-home whitening. Custom trays will be made to fit the contours of your mouth. You will dispense some whitening gel into each compartment and wear the tray for a few hours a day. This way of addressing your whitening may take a little longer to see results but offers you the flexibility and comfort of a bleaching treatment at home.
Tips To Keep Teeth White Over The Long Term
How long your bright smile will last will depend on what you expose your teeth to, but you can prolong the effects by
- Rinsing your mouth after eating and drinking
- Eliminating or reducing foods and drinks that stain
- Quitting smoking
- Going for top-up teeth whitening once a year
- Visiting your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning
Professional teeth whitening is a predictable and safe way to achieve a whiter smile. It isn’t worth compromising your dental enamel with over-the-counter products or natural remedies. Rather speak to your dentist about the benefits of professional bleaching treatments.
To find out more about how to keep teeth white or to discuss any of your dental concerns, it’s always best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for a convenient appointment:
Phone: (02) 9158 6213
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9158 6756
Illawong, NSW 2234
Phone: (02) 9159 6083
Sylvania Waters NSW 2224