How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth
Teeth Whitening: Where to Start?
We’d all like to have a brighter smile, but it can be hard to identify the best method for safe teeth whitening. There’s a lot of information out there, some that’s been around for years, some that’s fairly new. It can be hard to know what you can rely on, what won’t do anything, and what might actually hurt you.
As always, you should ask your dentist how to whiten your teeth. So, let’s ask a dentist: “How do you safely whiten your teeth at home?”
What Causes Discolored Teeth?
To understand how to whiten your teeth, we first have to know why teeth become discolored. We’d like to mention that your teeth are like your fingerprint in that they’re uniquely yours, and no two people have the same set. Some people’s teeth have lighter or darker staining teeth for no reason at all.
There are two kinds of tooth discoloration. The first kind is called “extrinsic stains”. These come from outside sources having to do with diet and behavior.
- Drinking wine and coffee. Dark beverages can stain teeth, and acidic drinks can also wear away at the enamel.
- Smoking. Besides staining your teeth and giving you bad breath, smoking is awful for your teeth and gums. Smoking affects blood flow and is linked to infections and multiple types of cancers.
- Improper or lack of oral care. Taking care of your mouth is never something you want to get lazy about.
These are not just cosmetic issues and can easily be prevented by developing good habits, rinsing your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods and regular teeth cleanings.
The second kind of tooth discoloration is “intrinsic stains”. These come from inside your teeth and often signal disease or loss of structural integrity.
- Simple aging. As we get older, the enamel on our teeth thins, allowing the ivory-tinted dentin to show through.
- Caries. Tooth decay and loss of structural integrity can occur even from normal wear and tear, so make sure to get your checkups.
- Taking large amounts of antibiotics can stain primary teeth.
How to Whiten Teeth Safely
Now that we know what causes stains on our teeth, let’s look at how you can safely whiten your teeth at home.
- Stop smoking! Ask your doctor to help you develop a plan to quit.
- Take a look at how much coffee, tea, soda, and wine you’re drinking, and drink more water instead.
- Don’t be too hard on your teeth! Abrasive substances like charcoal might make your teeth look brighter for a day, but they are not approved by medical experts and can damage enamel.
- Be consistent with your oral health. Brush twice a day with a soft brush, floss, and brush your tongue.
- Your dentist has the best information available! Ask your dentist about safe teeth whitening so they can determine your options and make recommendations.
The Smart Way to Whiten Your Teeth
Dr. Blum recommends that you do not treat your teeth with anything that has not been thoroughly checked out by reliable institutions like the ADA, (the American Dental Association). At Dr. Blum’s office, we recommend the Opalescence teeth whitening system, a gentle method that uses soft trays and gel containing potassium nitrate and fluoride. This is another reason why we are your gentle dentists.
There’s so much more we could say on this topic, but it is best if we discuss in a FREE consultation. If you have any questions, keep reading, or contact us anytime!