Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.
Methods: You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.
Habits: Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.
Restorations: Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.
Side effects: Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.
Expectations: Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.
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If you have just completed professional teeth whitening treatment, you probably want to protect your investment and extend the life of your shiny, bright smile. To enhance your healthy new smile and keep it white and bright, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines:
Do follow good oral hygiene practices by brushing and flossing regularly after every meal.
Don’t drink colored beverages such as red wine, coffee, cola or tea immediately after treatment, and continue to avoid them whenever possible to prevent staining.
Do drink beverages with a straw when you must drink dark-colored beverages to prevent the liquid from touching your teeth and causing stains.
Don’t eat pigment-intense foods for several weeks after whitening. Berries, dark chocolate, soy sauce and other foods with a dark color can leave residue that leads to staining.
Do use a gentle tooth whitening mouthwash after eating to rinse away food and debris that could cause staining and to keep your breath fresh.
Don’t wear lipstick or colored gloss for at least one week after whitening treatment, as your teeth are still sensitive immediately after treatment and lipstick can leave pigments that will stain your teeth.
Do use a whitening toothpaste to increase the results and aid in the longevity of your treatment.
Don’t forget to eat a healthy diet and drink water to keep your teeth strong and vibrant.
A whiter smile can brighten your face and take years off your looks. By following these easy recommendations, you can extend the life of your whitening treatment and enjoy the benefits of your bright, new smile.
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More and more people today are heading to their dentist’s office to brighten their smiles through teeth whitening treatments. Although you can try to maintain white teeth by limiting foods and drinks that stain or stopping habits like smoking, the truth is that teeth are prone to discoloring over time. If you’re considering undergoing teeth whitening, get the facts before you go.
Is teeth whitening safe?:
Most people are able to have their teeth whitened successfully without any issues. However, not everyone has good enough oral health to safely undergo treatment. Healthy teeth and gums are necessary so that the procedure is comfortable and effective. Patients with extensive fillings or crowns may not be the best candidates. Teeth that have extremely dark stains or discolorations from certain things like medications may not attain desired results.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate?:
A complete oral examination by your licensed dentist is the best way to determine if teeth whitening is right for you. During the assessment, your dentist will look for decay, receding gum lines, fillings, enamel condition, tooth sensitivity and more to decide if treatment is advised. Sometimes dental work can be done to restore oral health and then whitening becomes an option.
What is the process?:
Most professional teeth whitening treatments performed in a dental office are done with a high concentration peroxide bleaching agent and enhanced with special lighting to activate the gel. The dentist usually coats your gums with a product to limit sensitivity, and then the bleaching gel is carefully placed onto your teeth. Light is directed to the area, typically in three 15-minutes sessions. The dentist monitors the entire process for your safety and comfort.
What results can I expect?:
It is important to discuss your specific case with your dentist prior to treatment so that you have realistic whitening goals in mind. The degree of whitening often depends on the level and cause of your tooth discoloration. Some patients achieve a couple of shades brighter, while others whiten up to ten shades.
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It’s a fact of life that teeth can become dingy and yellowed through the years. Your diet, age, personal habits and more affect the shade of your teeth. Even with the best care, it’s nearly inevitable that at some point you’ll want to brighten your smile. Once you pursue teeth whitening, you’ll want to be sure to make your new smile last as long as possible.
Over-the-counter products are readily available from your local drugstore and simple to use. However, they can take a long time to obtain full results and even then, you may not achieve the desired shade you’d like. Professional teeth whitening is the fastest and most dramatic way to brighten your smile.
If you spend the time and money to whiten your teeth professionally, making it last will be important to you. Results can last for a long time, but probably not forever. Here are some tips for making your white teeth last longer:
Watch your diet especially carefully for the first 48 hours following treatment. Your teeth are at the most risk for staining during this timeframe.
For the first few days, avoid eating known staining foods like blueberries, beets, dark soups, marinades, sauces, curry or tomato products.
At first, avoid broccoli, green beans, peas, sprouts, corn, or skinned potatoes. These have increased risk of particles getting stuck into the highly susceptible tooth pores after whitening treatment.
Watch out for citrus fruits that are high in acidity, which can also make your saliva more acidic. Your teeth are more prone to damage from acid when they already have increased sensitivity from the whitening chemicals.
Avoid drinking dark colas or coffee, since both can stain your teeth no matter when you drink them.
Get in the habit of drinking from a straw so that dark colored drinks don’t come into as much contact with your teeth.
Choosing the right foods and drinks after teeth whitening can make a big difference in the length of time your teeth stay white. Make the best decisions to enjoy your bright smile.
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Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.
At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.
Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.
Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.
Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.
If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.
Hydrogen peroxide: Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.
Strawberries: Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.
Lemon or orange peels: Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.
Apple cider vinegar: Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.
Brush immediately: The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.
If you need a dentist in Baltimore contact us today