Teeth whitening can make your smile look like new again.
Roughly 80% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 want whiter teeth. In fact, Americans spend billions of dollars on whitening treatments each year.
White teeth can boost your confidence, make you feel more attractive, and help you look healthier and younger. It’s no wonder that whitening is so popular.
That said, not all teeth-whitening treatments are created equal. With all the options on the market, you might wonder which ones are safe and which ones you should avoid.
Whether you plan to whiten at home or in the dentist’s chair, we’ve outlined some helpful information below. Read on to learn how to find a safe whitening solution, why teeth change color, and which whitening options you should try.
How to find a safe teeth-whitening solution.
The best way to find a safe whitening solution is to ask your dentist. That doesn’t mean you have to sign up for in-office whitening treatments. Even if you want to try natural or at-home whitening first, they can tell you which treatments they recommend.
Remember that your dentist’s main priority is to protect the health of your teeth, so you can trust their guidance. Whitening products treat the surface of your teeth, but the wrong ones can cause short- or long-term damage. It can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
If you want to go the over-the-counter route, look for the American Dental Association seal on whitening products. The ADA Seal of Acceptance is a program that’s been around since 1931. An independent panel of dentists studies each product that’s submitted and only awards the seal to products that are safe and effective.
Why do teeth lose their brightness?
Staining makes your teeth lose their brightness. There are two types of staining: extrinsic, which affects the surface of the tooth, and intrinsic, which affects below the surface. You can address both types of staining with whitening treatments.
In many cases, teeth lose their brightness due to surface staining. The enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth, can pick up stains from everyday life. If you drink red wine, coffee, soda, or use tobacco products, that can stain your teeth over time and give them a yellow appearance.
Aside from surface enamel staining, internal staining below the enamel can also make your teeth look less white. As you age, your enamel naturally thins so more of the yellow dentin layer shows through. Dental injuries can also damage the inside of your tooth, which can make them look yellow.
If you’re not sure why your teeth have changed color, make sure to contact your dentist. They can get to the root of the problem.
Natural Teeth Whitening Options
Baking soda is one way you can help whiten your teeth using natural products. You can create a paste with two teaspoons of water and one teaspoon of baking soda. Use a toothbrush or your finger to gently clean your teeth for 30 seconds. Keep in mind that baking soda can be a bit abrasive. Be gentle and only use it a few times per week. Over time, you might notice whiter teeth.
You can also include more calcium-rich foods in your diet—think broccoli, milk, and cheese. These foods can nourish the enamel in your teeth and prevent it from wearing down.
Another natural way to whiten your teeth is to prevent stains from setting in. Right after you drink wine or coffee, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth. The sooner you act, the less chance you have of the stains becoming permanent.
At-Home Whitening Treatments
If you’re looking for an over-the-counter teeth-whitening option, you can try Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips. It’s the only whitening system with an ADA Seal of Acceptance.
As long as you follow the package instructions, it’s safe to use and will whiten your teeth.
If you just want whiter teeth over time, you can use whitening toothpaste. As with other dental products, choose one that has the ADA seal. This option works with your regular brushing routine, although it may take a while to see results.
You can also get an at-home whitening system from your dentist. They’ll create a custom-made tray that you fill with whitening gel. This process can take as long as a month. Usually, you’ll need to use the gel tray for a few hours every day.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Services
The quickest, safest, and most effective whitening method is to get an in-office whitening treatment. Depending on the current shade of your teeth and the level of whitening you want, it may take multiple visits.
It’s the best option for whitening because your dentist is a trained professional and they’ll know how to tailor the treatment to your teeth and your needs. This will prevent do-it-yourself mishaps like gum injuries and uneven whitening. While it is the most expensive option, you’ll get the best results.
After protecting your gums and polishing your teeth, the dentist will apply a bleaching agent. It usually includes hydrogen peroxide. Then, they’ll use a light or laser to activate the solution.
The whole process can be done in as little as an hour. Your dentist might also apply a layer of fluoride to protect your teeth from sensitivity.
Make an appointment to enjoy a brighter smile
Teeth whitening can make you feel more confident and outgoing. Choosing the right treatment can brighten your smile without sacrificing your dental health.
While natural and at-home treatments can give you some good results, you’ll get the quickest and fastest treatment by visiting the dentist. In-office whitening can take away years of surface stains and even address underlying stains.
If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry services, Berrien Dental can help. Whether you’re looking for preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry, our compassionate care will make you feel right at home. Contact us today to book an appointment.