Three Easy Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

There are many reasons your teeth get dull and darker, including medication, age, food and drink. There are also several techniques you can use to brighten your teeth.

“You can have your teeth whitened by your dentist for the best results, but not everyone needs to start with the powerful whiteners we use,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix Cosmetic Dentistry office. “There are some simple ways to lighten your teeth you can do at home, too,” she adds.

cosmetic_dental_proceduresThe drug store is the first stop for people who want to lift stains from their teeth or brighten them a shade or two, says WebMD, in an article on brightening teeth. Various toothpastes, strips and kits can be used at home.  These contain a mild bleach or an abrasive to remove surface stains.

1. Bleaching kits come in two common styles—a brush-applied peroxide gel, or a gel that is applied to the teeth in a tray. The disadvantage is that the tray has to stay on your teeth for half- to three-quarters of an hour every day for a week or two.

2. Whitening strips can also help brighten your teeth. These thin strips contain a peroxide-based bleach and are applied to your teeth for several minutes a day, every day, for a week to 10 days. The effect can lasts up to a year. The strips are easy to use, but you won’t get as good results as you would with the kits.

3. Toothpastes can help you get stains off your teeth, but they won’t change the natural color of your teeth. Pastes and gels contain polishing agents that are abrasive enough to get surface stains off your teeth.

“When you whiten your teeth at home, you will not be able to change the color of crowns, inlays, caps or veneers,” says Dr. Ford. “If those teeth are in the front of your mouth, you may have several shades of white in your smile,” she adds.

In order to get a brighter, whiter smile, talk to your dentist. The polishes and bleaches in the dental office are much stronger (and work faster) that those you can buy over the counter and use yourself.  And if you have crowns or dental work in the front of your mouth, you may want to consider veneers instead. They will give a uniform, bright sparkle to your smile.

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