Tips for a Brighter, Whiter Smile

whiter smile

Many people desire a brighter, whiter smile but few know how to achieve dazzling pearly whites. Teeth can easily become discolored due to the foods and drinks you consume, habits like smoking, and natural enamel wear due to aging. Genetics also plays a role in the color of your teeth. Some people are born with thinner enamel which creates a dull or grayish hue on the teeth.

There are many ways that patients can whiten their smile, both at home and in the dentist office.

1. Improve Your Diet

Foods and colored beverages are known contributors to tooth stains and discoloration. Coffee, red wine, pasta sauce, and similar culprits can change the color of your teeth after just one meal, especially if you do not have a stringent brushing routine. Consider avoiding certain foods that are known to stain your teeth and eat an overall nutritional diet to maintain good dental health and wellness.

2. Limit Added Sugars

Foods and beverages containing added sugars can cause havoc in the mouth. Bad bacteria in the mouth combines with these sugars, producing harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Over time, the enamel on your teeth can thin, causing the underlying yellowish layer of dentin to shine through. Avoid or try to limit high-sugar foods and beverages, such as sodas, cookies, and candies.

3. Brush and Floss Regularly

A poor oral health routine can also contribute to tooth staining and discoloration. The longer food is allowed to sit on the teeth, the worse that the discoloration will get. It is important to brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning and again before bed. Flossing between and around teeth should be performed at least once per day to remove any stuck particles in hard-to-reach spots. Follow up with an anti-cavity mouthwash.

4. Prevent Dry Mouth

Dry mouth occurs when the mouth does not produce adequate saliva. This lack of moisture can cause harmful bacteria to grow and produce acids that attack the teeth. Saliva generally helps to rinse away these bad bacteria and neutral acids, but with dry mouth, this isn’t possible. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dry mouth, and if the problem persists, speak to your healthcare provider about your concerns.

5. Try a Whitening Product

Today, there are many tooth whitening products on the market that have been found effective in whitening teeth. Consider adding a whitening toothpaste and mouthwash to your oral health routine. Although these products cannot create dramatic results over night, they can help to gradually remove tough stains for a visibly whiter smile.

6. Avoid Aggressive Brushing

Some patients make the mistake of brushing their teeth harder to remove stains and discolorations. This bad habit can actually have the opposite effect on your teeth. Brushing hard can cause damage to the enamel layer and if you make aggressive brushing a habit, the enamel can gradually wear away. This can lead to discoloration and other problems like tooth sensitivity.

7. Try an At-Home Whitening Kit

If over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are not giving you the results you desire, talk to your dentist about professional at-home tooth whitening. Today, many dentists offer professional-grade tooth whitening kits that can be used in the comfort of your own home. The process involves creating a custom impression of your teeth to make aligners that comfortably fit in the mouth. The patient then applies a whitening gel and wears the aligner for about one hour a day for up to two weeks.

Contact Bonham Dental Arts Today

Age, poor oral care, certain health problems, and many other factors can contribute to stained or discolored teeth. Fortunately, you do not have to live with this discoloration forever. To learn more about tooth whitening or to speak with a knowledgeable dental professional about your treatment options, contact Bonham Dental. We will get you on your way to a brighter, whiter smile!