Did you know that more than 78% of people in the United States are unhappy with their teeth for one reason or another? Yellow or discolored teeth are among the most common reasons people are dissatisfied with their smile. Many people adopt an at-home routine as preventative dental care to whiten their teeth and improve the appearance of their smile.
Preventative dental care, of course, also plays a big role in tooth color. So, what can you do to stop your teeth from discoloring, and what can you do if they already are? Keep reading to learn more about how to achieve a bright, confident smile.
How to Practice Preventative Dental Care and Keep Your Teeth White
Preventative dental care not only helps achieve white teeth but is also important for keeping your teeth in good shape in general. Preventative dental care mainly involves brushing and flossing your teeth, though it can also include avoiding certain foods that can harm your dental health. Preventative care is your best first option when it comes to whitening your teeth.
It’s important to understand why your teeth get discolored in the first place. Tooth enamel is one of the strongest tissues in the body, but it is not invincible—particularly not against staining. Natural tooth enamel can be white, gray, or yellowish in tone.
For this reason, not everyone will be able to have bright white teeth. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still have an attractive, sparkling smile. The trick is to avoid certain foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, black tea, cranberry juice, and red wine.
Preventative Dental Care: Coffee + Brushing
Does this mean that you have to give up your morning cup of coffee in favor of having a confident smile for good? Not at all!
All you need to do is take good care of your teeth and occasionally seek family dentistry services in Arkansas. However, before you search for a “family dentist near me,” you should first get into the habit of brushing your teeth, as this is very important for preventing stains.
For example, when you drink coffee and don’t brush your teeth, the dark pigment in the drink sticks to your tooth enamel, staining it a darker color. But, if you drink coffee and brush your teeth soon after, the pigment doesn’t have a chance to stick to your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth should stay white and unstained. The type of toothpaste and toothbrush you use can also make a difference in the staining of your tooth enamel.
This is also true when eating food. If you don’t brush your teeth after eating, your tooth enamel will slowly decay. This not only leads to tooth discoloration but also weakens the enamel and makes you more prone to cavities and tooth sensitivity. These problems are much more serious than simply having stained teeth.
Can DIY Teeth Whitening Tricks Keep Your Teeth White?
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do to practice preventative dental care and avoid tooth discoloration. Brushing stops food and drink particles from sticking to your teeth, thereby keeping your teeth unstained. However, what if your teeth are already stained?
Brushing your teeth won’t be enough to remove the stains. You could try to use some whitening toothpaste, but it can only do so much. So, do any of those DIY teeth whitening tricks really work?
A common trick that many people use is to brush their teeth with baking soda. Baking soda may seem like a soft, white powder, but it is actually made of many small, abrasive granules. Because these grains are so hard and abrasive, they can help remove surface stains from your teeth.
This is because the grains can scrape against the surface of your tooth enamel, where most of the stains are. When the baking soda scrapes off the top layer of tooth enamel, it reveals whiter enamel underneath. However, brushing your teeth in this way can be harmful.
This is because you can accidentally remove too much of your tooth enamel, weakening the teeth and making you more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. If your tooth enamel is no longer thick enough to protect the nerves deeper inside your teeth, it becomes uncomfortable to consume hot or cold substances.
What You Need to Know
A safer option is to use teeth whitening strips or trays, which are left on the teeth for a certain amount of time. However, while these strips may work well for some, they often provide only minor results for others. These strips can also be very expensive, especially if you buy them often.
When it comes to whitening your teeth, know that DIY methods will only take you so far. Over-the-counter options will only be so strong, and most will not give you the bright, white results you want. Other DIY methods, such as brushing your teeth with baking soda, will whiten your teeth to a certain extent, but they could also end up damaging them.
So, is there a way to whiten your teeth without damaging them simultaneously? As a matter of fact, there is, and it has to do with professional teeth whitening. But what makes professional teeth whitening different from the DIY methods?
Professional Teeth Whitening for a Bright, Confident Smile
Professional teeth whitening is more effective than DIY and OTC methods for several reasons. One of the main reasons for this is that professional teeth whitening methods are much stronger than at-home methods. Usually, a dentist will use a special kind of hydrogen peroxide gel on your teeth to whiten them.
Many kinds of toothpaste contain hydrogen peroxide, as it helps whiten the tooth enamel. However, the percentage of hydrogen peroxide in toothpaste is very low, which is why it usually doesn’t whiten the teeth by much.
The hydrogen peroxide and fluoride that dentists use for preventative dental care, on the other hand, are concentrated and powerful, giving more significant results. When you get your teeth professionally whitened, a hydrogen peroxide gel is placed on your
teeth and allowed to sit for a period. As the gel sits, it eats away at stains and lifts them from the tooth enamel.
Once it’s time to rinse off the gel, you’ll see that your teeth are much whiter than before. The procedure doesn’t take long—usually less than an hour. While professional whitening may be more expensive than OTC whitening strips, you’ll find that the cost is worth it.
The Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
You will only have to pay for one whitening session. This differs from OTC whitening options, which you must keep buying just to get mediocre results. So, when you opt for professional whitening options, you are actually saving money in the long run.
This is not to mention that professional whitening options are nowhere near as damaging to your teeth as DIY options. Professional whitening allows you to enjoy a confident, white smile without compromising the strength of your teeth.
However, you must take good care of your teeth after having them whitened, practicing regular dental hygiene, or your whitening session will have been for nothing. This includes brushing your teeth after eating, especially any food or drink that contains strong pigments. Flossing your teeth at least once a day is also helpful for preventing tooth stains.
All About Keeping Your Teeth White
Preventative dental care is the most effective way of keeping your teeth white. If your teeth are already discolored, you can try DIY methods, but they may not do much good. On the other hand, professional whitening methods are highly effective and save you money in the long run.
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