Does the tissue test have you down? You’re not alone! The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has reported that the majority of people are interested in having whiter teeth. Time magazine quoted a study from the journal PLOS One that reported both men and women being attracted to bright, white smiles. Additionally, they noted “job applicants with white teeth are more likely to be hired than yellow-toothed applicants.” These are only two of the reasons why people are drawn to teeth whitening options. There are a variety of ways to achieve whiter teeth, from general daily maintenance and teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry. Yet, it’s also important to know why we get yellow teeth in the first place.
When it comes to yellow teeth, there are things we can control and others that we have little control over. A number of beverages can darken the color of your teeth. These include coffee, tea, red and white wine, sports drinks with artificial flavoring, and sodas. Some foods such as tomatoes, beets, berries, colored candy, and balsamic vinegar are also culprits. While there are ways to get around some of these struggles such as drinking these beverages through a straw or the cessation of smoking, some of the unavoidable causes such as genetics, the use of antibiotics, and the natural wear of our teeth as we age leave patients wondering if they can take control of the situation and obtain whiter teeth.
One of the easiest ways to work towards whiter teeth is by brushing and flossing daily and receiving professional dental teeth cleaning as part of regular dental maintenance. Some patients use whitening toothpaste as part of their cleaning regiment. While all toothpastes help to remove stains from the surface of your teeth, it’s important to note that if you choose to use whitening toothpaste that it should have the ADA seal signifying the use of safe chemicals. However, if your teeth are severely stained, whitening toothpaste won’t be enough. A number of patients also use whitening strips or gels, which have a higher level of effectiveness but can also leave your teeth with differing levels of whiteness depending on the application method. Another struggle that many people face is that these whiteners will not work on dental work such as fillings, caps, and crowns. However, patients do have the ability to renew old filings or replace old crowns and bridges. The benefits reach beyond cosmetic dentistry as having a nice, clean restoration can help prevent bacteria that cause infection and decay.
If you’ve been disappointed by the results of over the counter whitening products, it may be time to try professional-grade products. While the at-home methods can often lead to tooth sensitivity, in-office whitening uses thick peroxide gels. In- office whitening, also known as professional whitening, is the safest way to bleach your teeth. It’s also the quickest way to achieve white teeth.
Laser Teeth Whitening
In order to achieve these results, dental professionals use high concentration bleach while providing safe protection for your gums and other areas of the mouth that could potentially be affected. The whitener is applied directly to the teeth and the light of a laser is used to speed up the process. This laser teeth whitening procedure typically takes one hour and can render teeth several shades lighter after one session. The use of whitening toothpaste can help the effects to last longer. The effects also last longer when patients avoid smoking and consuming the staining foods and drinks listed above.
It’s Not Too Early to Start Taking Care of Your Teeth!
Dental professionals recognize that those who begin good dental habits in their youth are less likely to have problems as they age. Daily teeth cleaning can begin even before teeth appear by washing an infant’s mouth with a washcloth or dental wipe each day. This helps to prevent bacteria and infections. It’s important that children learn to care for their teeth early as those teeth serve as placeholders for their adult teeth. A large amount of tooth decay can occur in one’s early years so it’s essential to develop regular brushing and flossing habits and receive dental cleanings twice each year.
It’s Also Not Too Late to Start Taking Care of Your Teeth!
Some patients feel it may be too late for them to reap the benefits of a brighter smile. Due to age, years of smoking, poor dental hygiene, or other factors patients may believe that white teeth are out of their reach, but this is not the case. There’s no need to feel self-conscious when you smile. Scheduling a consultation with your dentist will provide you with the necessary information for your specific whitening needs.
For more information on teeth whitening contact our office in Hudson, FL by clicking here. Or contact us at (727) 862-7664.