Your smile is a significant feature of your face. So when your teeth are yellow or stained, they stand out. A bright smile is associated with beauty, youth, health, good hygiene, and confidence. Is your smile saying that about you? First impressions are everything, and that starts with a bright smile.
Below are some helpful tips to get your teeth the brightest color ever.
Whitening Tip: Start With A Dental Checkup
Before you visit your local dental aisle for whitening strips or online for an at-home whitening kit, you should get your regular dental check-up and cleaning.
Visiting your dentist often is essential to a healthy, bright smile. If you notice stains on your teeth, getting a dental check-up will determine what those stains are. If it's been a couple of years since you've had a dental cleaning, you may have tartar build-up on your teeth. Tartar, also called calculus, is a crusty deposit that traps stains and causes discoloration to your teeth. Tartar build-up is an indication it is time for a dental cleaning and check-up.
Also, staining in the grooves or between the teeth can be an indication you have a cavity. You may think stains have to be sensitive or painful to be a cavity. But that is not the case; some cavities do not have any symptoms. Getting stains checked by a dentist is the best way to determine if you have a cavity.
Once you have a thorough cleaning and dental check-up, your dentist will advise you how often you should come in for dental cleanings; typically every six months. Getting a dental cleaning before whitening your teeth will help you to achieve the best whitening results.
Whitening Tip: Whitening Toothpaste Removes Surface Stain
Once you've had a dental cleaning and check-up, you can start checking out available whitening toothpaste. There is a variety of whitening toothpaste on the market like:
- Colgate Optic White
- Crest 3D White
- Dental Expert Activated Charcoal
- Arm and Hammer Advance White
All do help brighten your smile but only by removing the surface stain. Also, some should not be used every day like toothpaste with activated charcoal. The activated charcoal contains abrasive particles that help remove staining, but over time, can be harmful to tooth enamel.
Whitening Tip: Reduce Sugar In Your Diet
Having a healthy environment for your teeth is key to a bright smile. Your mouth is a battleground of bacteria, and adding sugar to the mix is just fuel to the fire of potential cavities. So how does sugar affect the color of your teeth? By causing cavities. Cavities look like dark stains on or between the teeth that dental whitening can not remove. A cavity is a decayed tooth structure usually caused by a high sugar and carb diet.
Treating a cavity involves a dentist removing the decayed tooth structure and replacing it with a filling. The dentist will match the material used to fill the tooth to your natural tooth color. So if your natural tooth color is yellow at the time of your filling, your filing will match. After having any dental work done, if you choose to whiten your teeth, restorations like fillings and crowns will not change in color. To avoid this altogether, reduce your sugar intake to lower your risk of tooth decay and potentially fillings.
Whitening Tip: Brush And Floss Your Teeth
If you want to have a bright smile that starts with good hygiene habits. Did you know 70% of Americans brush their teeth twice a day? Sadly, 23% of Americans have gone two or more days without brushing their teeth, and for adults between the ages of 18-24, that number is 37%! And flossing isn't any better, only 4 in 10 Americans floss their teeth at least once a day. 20% don't floss their teeth at all. So, how often should you brush and floss your teeth?
Brushing And Flossing Recommendations To brush your teeth properly involves brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, which would total four minutes of your day spent on brushing. What about flossing? Flossing is only necessary to do at least once a day. Practicing in the mirror is helpful, and over time you will get the hang of it. The average time it should take to floss is two minutes. So total to brush and floss your teeth, it should take you six minutes.
What Type Of Toothbrush and Floss Should You Use?
The best tool to properly brush your teeth with is an electric toothbrush. The brush head on an electric toothbrush can move in several directions, removing more plaque and food than a regular toothbrush. Also, electric toothbrushes have a built-in two-minute timer and sensors to
let you know if you are brushing too hard. Electric toothbrushes can be a bit pricey but worth the investment.
As far as dental floss goes, avoid using the floss picks and get regular string floss. When flossing your teeth, the correct technique is to hug the dental floss around your tooth like the letter C. Then, while hugging your tooth with the floss, you will want to slide the floss under each side of the gum triangle located between your teeth. This step is key to removing plaque and bacteria from under your gums. Once you start adding flossing into your daily routine, your dentists and teeth will thank you.
Whitening Tip: Use Mouthwash Liquids
Another popular way to whitening your teeth is by using a whitening mouthwash. There are several brands available that use hydrogen peroxide as the whitening agent. Over time, this will help remove stains and whiten your teeth, but only if you have a mild staining level.
Non-whitening mouthwashes are helpful too. Regular mouthwash kills bacteria and strengthens tooth enamel when used correctly. Some of the blue mouthwashes are known to stain the teeth due to the dye used. But not to worry, the blue stain on your teeth or tongue washes away with normal eating and drinking. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a mouthwash will help keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright too.
Whitening Tip: Watch Out For Food And Drinks That Discolor Your Teeth
Food and beverages play a significant role in the color of your teeth. Certain foods and drinks are known to stain or discolor your teeth due to sugar and acid they contain. Here are some foods and drinks to watch out for when trying to get clear white teeth.
- Coffee and Tea
- Red wine
- Soft drinks- like Coca-Cola and Pepsi
- Sauces- tomato, soy, and curry
- Fruits and berries- blueberries, blackberries, cherries
- Candy and sweets-hard candy, chewing gum
Some of these foods and drinks you can find alternatives for, but others would be best to avoid altogether. When it comes to beverages, drinking from a straw helps keep the liquid away from your teeth. And when you have any staining beverages, try not to sip on them or let them linger in your mouth too long. Promptly finishing your drink will cut down on the amount of time teeth are vulnerable to sugar and acid. Once you finish eating or drinking anything acidic, sugary, or that causes staining, rinse with some water, then wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing your teeth- any sooner could hurt your teeth' enamel.
Time To Show Off Your Bright Smile
Now that you understand all the ways to whiten your teeth, you can get started today on brightening your smile. During the process, if you still aren't happy with the way your teeth look, you may discover it's not the color of your teeth that bothers you but the position of your teeth. UpSmiles offers custom aligner kits that only take 4 to 6 months to straighten your teeth. Our aligners will quickly get you on your way to a straighter smile that you can be proud to show off with our short treatment times.
To learn more about our aligners, straightening your teeth or other helpful teeth brightening tips check out our website. UpSmiles