How to Whiten Really Yellow Teeth : Dental Health
How to Maintain White Teeth
Everyone wants a white smile. While most people know what they need to do for basic dental hygiene, not everyone knows just how much food can play a role in the whiteness of their teeth. They also don't know what products are the best for whitening teeth. With good hygiene, diet changes, and knowledge about whitening products, you can have whiter teeth.
Avoiding Ingredients that Stain Your Teeth
Avoid or reduce exposure to highly acidic foods.Acidic foods can weaken the enamel, and make teeth more likely to stain. This is part of the reason that coffee, tea, wine, and soda can all stain your teeth.Also make sure to wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic.
- Fruits that are especially harsh on teeth include lemons and citrus. You shouldn't keep these in your mouth for too long. Fruit juice can also wreak havoc on your teeth.
- Pickles, vinegar, and some salad dressings are also highly acidic.
Avoid foods with chromogens.Chromogens are substances that have a lot of concentrated pigment and easily stick to the enamel. In other words, they are likely to stain your teeth.Both coffee and red wine contain chromogens, and it’s part of the reason they are so good at staining your teeth.
- Other things that contain chromogens include berries, dark sodas, and artificially colored candies and treats, like popsicles.
- One way to think about it is this: if a food stains your tongue, it can stain your teeth.
Avoid foods or drinks with tannins.Black tea has tannins and can be worse for your teeth than coffee. Red wine also has tannins, making it a triple-threat in terms of teeth staining. Tannins work by making chromogens more effective at staining teeth.Lots of foods have tannins such as chocolate and some fruit juices, but red wine and black tea are some of the most effective at staining teeth.
Avoid tobacco products.Not only do tobacco products stain teeth, they can lead to gum disease and even oral cancer.Chewing tobacco is even worse for teeth and gums than cigarettes. It's also sugary and highly acidic, which can contribute tooth staining and tooth loss.
Maintaining Dental Hygiene
Brush your teeth at least twice a day.In order to keep your teeth white, you need to brush in the morning and the evening. This gets rid of plaque which can cause cavities that ruin a white smile;however, it is important not to brush immediately after eating acidic foods, as this can harm the enamel, thus destroying the protection your teeth have against staining and damage.
- You can, however, rinse your mouth out with water.
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes.Brushing your teeth for two to three minutes helps ensure a thorough clean, which helps to keep your smile whiter. It also helps with bad breath and getting rid of plaque, thus preventing cavities.Be careful not to brush for too long, as this can hurt the enamel, again increasing the likelihood of stains.
- If you have trouble brushing your teeth long enough, you can get a timer or play a song that is about two minutes long to help.
- It's best not to brush too hard, as this too can erode and weaken tooth enamel, leading to chipped teeth, enamel loss and high sensitivity.
- Using soft-bristled toothbrushes can help you avoid over-brushing.You may also wish to use an electric toothbrush with a sensor that will automatically switch the brush off if you are using too much pressure.
Floss regularly.Flossing at least once a day will help prevent cavities. This will help keep your smile white. You need to get between each tooth, and make sure you don’t floss too hard. This can damage the gums.The following tips can help you floss to keep those teeth white:
- Try using about 18 inches (45 cm) of floss, and wrap it around your fingers on each hand until you have about 2 inches (5 cm) left in the middle.
- It's best to slide the floss gently in between teeth (never saw).
- You'll want to move to a clean section of floss for each tooth.
Go to the dentist for cleanings and checkups at least once a year.Doing so will help you prevent any problems that could cause tooth decay or other factors that lead to less than white teeth. It can also help your teeth stay cleaner and whiter.
Using Whitening Products and Services
Use over-the-counter whitening strips.You should brush your teeth about 30 minutes before applying whitening strips directly to your teeth. Different whitening strips have different instructions on exactly how to apply them and how long to leave them on, so read the packaging instructions before whitening.
- Whitening strips should have some level of peroxide to be effective.
- Be careful about using strips too often or for too long as this can irritate your gums and cause tooth sensitivity.
- Whitening strips work faster than whitening toothpaste and are a lot more cost-effective than in-office or dentist-dispensed treatments.
Use whitening toothpaste.Most versions of Colgate Total and Crest Pro-Health toothpastes carry the ADA seal of approval for whitening. Tom’s of Maine Simply White toothpastes also carry this seal.Whitening toothpastes will not change the natural color of your teeth, but rather work on extrinsic (surface) stains. It will show extrinsic whitening after a few weeks of consistent use.
Use a dentist-dispensed at-home whitening treatment.There’s only one set of products that the ADA recommends for dentist-dispensed home whitening treatments, and that’s Opalescence Whitening Gel 10%. It is important to follow your dentist's instructions when using this product. The process involves putting the bleaching agent in a tray that fits in your mouth, and leaving it for at least four hours. It will have a significant effect on the whiteness of your teeth.
- If you feel any pain or sensitivity stop the treatment right away and call your dentist.
Go to the dentist for whitening.Going to the dentist for whitening allows for a safer and quicker — though more costly — whitening service. It is safer because they can protect your gums and faster because they can use higher concentrations of whitening agents than in at-home products. If you really want white teeth fast, this is the way to go.
Avoid staining or very hot or cold foods after whitening.Staining foods such as soy sauce or red wine will undo the work you've just done. Because whitening can cause your teeth to be sensitive for a short time, you should avoid very hot or cold foods, and any other food that can be painful for sensitive teeth for at least one to two days.
Ask for naturally colored fillings and crowns.Almost everyone gets a cavity at some point in their life, and to help preserve a white smile, it’s best to ask for fillings or crowns that match the color of your teeth, also known as resin fillings.The downside of resin fillings over amalgam (silver) fillings is that they aren’t as cost effective; however, if you want a whiter smile, or the appearance of a perfect smile when you open your mouth to laugh, they are the best bet.
QuestionHow do I remove stains from my dentures to keep them white?Community AnswerSoak your dentures overnight in a plastic container (you can buy one for this purpose at the drug store) with hot water and a denture cleansing tablet. In the morning, rinse your dentures with water.Thanks!
QuestionWhat might be causing the brownish stains on my teeth?Community AnswerBrown stains on teeth are usually caused by smoking, but can also be caused by heavy coffee or tea drinking, or not having regular professional cleanings.Thanks!
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