5 Do’s and Don’ts of Teeth Whitening
We all want whiter teeth but how do you get that celebrity look without damaging your teeth?
- Brush and floss twice a day. Foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, soy sauce and curry all stain your teeth. Brushing and flossing removes much of the food and drink remnants that stain your teeth.
- Eat lots of crunchy fruit and vegetables. Dr. Arthur Glosman, a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills, describes them as “nature’s toothbrushes (a).” Crunchy foods such as apples and carrots help to remove stains from your teeth.
- Visit your dentist regularly. This is a good idea regardless, but a dentist can give your teeth a good polish, brilliant for a quick fix if you are trying to impress. Alternatively you can see a cosmetic dentist who uses a specialised gel to bleach your teeth. This is more effective but can be very expensive.
- Did you know that most of the products you use everyday come in whitening versions. Be it toothbrushes, toothpaste, or mouthwash.
- Use home whitening kits for a cheaper alternative than going to a cosmetic dentist. These involve mouth guards that are similar to the ones you might have used during contact sport. You mould the guard to your mouth, then apply a whitening gel to the guard and place the guard in your mouth. To read more about home whitening kits, have a look at this article (Teeth Whitening Home Kits Explained).
- Avoid food and drinks that can stain your teeth, see above for examples. Also avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits, wine and chocolate. Using a straw can limit your teeth’s exposure to staining drinks.
- Be careful when whitening teeth that have had work on them. Materials used in filings cannot be whitened and using a whitening product on these teeth may result in uneven whitening. Teeth whitening should only be used on live teeth and so is not appropriate for teeth that have had root canal treatment (b).
- Although there have been no studies in this area, many dentists recommend not using whitening produces during pregnancy or during lactation as it may harm the foetus/baby. Also whitening products should not be used on those under the age of 18.
- Don’t over use whitening products, the peroxide used to bleach teeth opens up pores in the structure of your teeth exposing the sensitive dentin below. This means that over whitening can lead to sensitisation of your teeth, particularly to hot and cold.
- Don’t go too white, just because the celebrities do, doesn’t mean you should too!