Having a great smile is something many people desire. But unless you were born with perfect, pearly whites, chances are you need to brighten your smile. This may be easier said than done, as there are various teeth whitening systems, kits and procedures that all promise the same fantastic results. Some of these options are inexpensive while others can set you back financially. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of factors – smoking and eating/drinking dark liquids and foods are common ways to stain or discolor your teeth.
The first thing to take into account is how much damage you’re trying to correct. If you only have one or two discolored teeth, it doesn’t make sense to have expensive teeth whitening done. For minimal damage, buy a do-it-yourself teeth-whitening kit and if you aren’t happy with the results, then seek help from your dentist. The tougher the discoloration, the better off you’ll be with having your smile brightened professionally.
The most common methods of teeth whitening are bleach, whitening toothpastes and whitening trays. Teeth bleaching should be done professionally at the dentist’s office. Using bleach on the teeth involves certain amounts of peroxide. The greater the discoloration, the more peroxide is needed. This is a safe and effective way of whitening your teeth.
Teeth whitening toothpastes and trays are ideal for those who don’t have time to make it to the dentist’s office. Whitening toothpastes are for everyday use in place of your regular toothpaste. However, you must use this product daily and it may take some time before you see results. Keep in mind that the effects of whitening toothpaste are not permanent but are an excellent option for short-term prevention of discoloration and stains. Using teeth whitening trays involve wearing custom-fitting plastic trays filled with bleaching agents over your teeth for a period of time. The more stains you have, the longer you’ll need to use the trays. This option can be done in the privacy of your own home using a kit or performed by a dentist.
In addition to these options, there are various products that offer whiter smiles in mere minutes with the use of strips, gum, and special toothbrushes. These products tend to be more affordable but the results vary from person to person. If you aren’t in a rush to visit the dentist or don’t have money to spend on professional teeth whitening procedures, give these products a try first and see which ones give you the results you desire.
There are also more natural ways of preventing your teeth from becoming stained. If you’re a smoker, quitting will help your teeth get back on track. Smoking causes yellow/brown staining and leaves sticky tar deposits on your teeth so quit while you’re ahead. Minimizing your intake of dark beverages, such as coffee, red wines and dark colored sodas will help keep stains off your teeth; learning to drink using a straw also act as a barrier.
Certain foods like blueberries can also discolor teeth. If you can’t stay away from these, then make sure to brush your teeth diligently after eating or drinking to keep the stains from setting in. Adding baking soda to your toothbrush is also an effective way to keep your smile bright without having to spend any money.
Just as eating certain foods can cause discoloration, there are also some foods that do just the opposite. The next time you need a snack, reach for an apple or strawberries, which work to polish and keep teeth clean.