Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures, and with good reason. A whiter smile offers significant advantages, and there are plenty of ways to maintain such a smile well into old age.
Why a white smile matters
When your smile is white, you feel much more confident. Instead of worrying that someone might see your teeth, you can laugh and smile freely and know that your teeth look great. In addition to influencing your inner life and self-esteem, a whiter smile allows you to be perceived more positively. You will look healthy, clean and more attractive. Meanwhile, yellow or grey teeth can easily make an otherwise attractive appearance look less pleasant.
Putting aesthetic advantages aside, a white smile also typically indicates that your mouth is in good condition, meaning that you are less likely to develop cavities or need grueling treatments.
Maintaining a white smile
If you’re lucky enough to have a white smile, the trick is to maintain that look. One of the most important things you can do is to keep an eye on your food and drink intake, as certain things can dye your teeth. Restricting your consumption of coffee, black tea and red wine will definitely help, as will brushing your teeth soon after they come into contact with these foods. Further, staying away from tobacco products is vital if you want to keep your teeth looking good.
Looking after your dental hygiene will also help you maintain your smile. Make a point of brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, and consider using whitening toothpastes. Finally, your regular checkups will provide an opportunity for your dentist to do a professional cleaning that makes your teeth look brighter.
Different whitening procedures
If you have already stained your teeth or if you haven’t cared for your teeth as well as you should have, a whitening procedure probably provides you with the best chance of creating a more attractive smile. Your family dentistry practice will most likely offer whitening treatments, and you can also consider whitening your teeth at home. Reassuringly, the American Dental Association has declared most whitening procedures safe, whether they are performed at home or in an office.
Laser procedures must be performed by your dentist, and will involve applying a highly effective bleaching gel that is activated by laser. The treatment takes a couple of hours and causes minor discomfort for some patients, but the results are both impressive and long-lasting. You may experience increased tooth sensitivity for a few days, but this sensitivity does not indicate any damage and will fade very quickly.
Home whitening kits also include bleaching gel, but the gel is weaker and therefore requires several applications if you want to see significant improvements. The major downside to whitening your teeth at home is that a heavy-handed approach can damage your tooth enamel. However, you can generally avoid this problem by carefully following the instructions.