Let’s face it, almost everyone in the world would like to have whiter teeth. And why not? Having white teeth makes people feel more confident, appear healthier and look younger to those around them. Plus, perhaps most fundamentally, it makes you want to smile more often! But, when your teeth have lost some of their luster and shine, what is the best way to go about turning back the hands of time and brightening back up your smile?
Of course, before we talk about the best way to whiten your teeth, it is important to emphasize that the first line of defense in keeping your teeth white and healthy is to make sure that you cover all of your preventative bases, and that means keeping up with your dental responsibilities! Brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist all help us keep our pearly whites pearly white. And, of course, avoiding damaging behaviors like smoking cigarettes, drinking too much coffee and sipping too much black tea, is also a necessity if you want to keep your smile shining bright through the years.
However, no matter how much we might manage to control these factors, and live the healthiest lifestyle we can possibly muster, it’s a sad but true fact that teeth do simply get less white as we age. Factors that play into this include everything from simple wear and tear on the enamel of the teeth, to more extreme examples of tooth darkening that can happen when the root of a tooth is injured or removed, as in root canal therapy.
Upon visiting the dental care aisle in any grocery or drug store, you will undoubtedly find yourself presented with an overwhelming cornucopia of products claiming all sorts of teeth whitening powers. And, when it comes down to it, a lot of these OTC remedies probably can help out a bit, maybe whitening your teeth a shade or two. However, most of these products come with a hidden extra cost. Many of today’s over the counter whitening products, including whitening toothpastes, use abrasive substances to scrub away stains, and these substances can also do damage to the enamel of the teeth, especially if used over long periods time. Also, while over the counter bleaching agents can help with some stains, they usually prove useless when trying to whiten badly darkened teeth and are unwise to use if you’ve had any dental restorative work, like crowns or bonding.
Consequently, the best way to effectively and safely whiten your teeth is to have the job handled by a professional, and, luckily, most dentists nowadays have an arsenal of proven methods for whitening your teeth. These include bonding, which is a thin, plastic-based coating (usually used to fix chipped or broken teeth) that can be used to cover imperfections, dental veneers, which are a more stain-resistant method of covering up the teeth, and finally the most popular method of tooth whitening; bleaching.
When it comes to whitening your teeth with bleach, the dentist office is definitely the place to go. Like we said before, most over the counter bleaching systems are pretty ineffective, and if used incorrectly can even be damaging to the teeth as well. By having your teeth bleached by a dentist, you can be assured that you will not end up with unevenly whitened teeth, and that he or she will be applying the bleach in the safest, most effective way possible. Also, it is important to keep in mind that bleaching of the teeth is a long-term process that is most effectively carried out gradually and carefully, and by having it done by a professional you are ensuring that this will be the case.
So, next time you are visiting our office, don’t be embarrassed to ask your dentist what your best tooth-whitening options may be. Or, how about simply learning more about our cosmetic dentistry services online? After all, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and no one is more prepared to help you have the brightest smile possible than your dentist.