How can I improve the whiteness of my teeth?

By Sasha Curry

Everyone deserves a smile they can feel confident about. Everyone deserves a set of teeth they feel proud to bare. Throughout the evolution of dental practices and procedures, there has been a swath of advances that make achieving your dream smile that much easier and enjoyable. This is especially the case with the guidance and support of industry experts like ours at M Street Dental. 

One of the areas that has comes leaps and bounds in the practice of dentistry is the whitening of teeth. Not only have whitening treatments been refined, but our understanding of the practices and general rules of thumb for maintaining the whiteness of our teeth has improved a great deal.   

So, how can you improve/maintain the whiteness of your teeth? Let’s take a look.

What to avoid for whiter teeth

Whitening toothpastes - We do not recommended the regular use of whitening toothpastes for a number of reasons. Let’s explore. 

Abrasive particles - Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive particles that can accelerate the wear of your teeth over time. In actuality, whitening toothpaste will be less aggressive than if you were to scrub your teeth with fine grit sandpaper everyday; however, the concepts are the same. 

Trace amounts of peroxide - Whitening toothpastes only contain trace amounts of peroxide. Since the concentration of such is so low, it’s unlikely to produce noticeable whitening results. 

What we encourage for whiter teeth

Regular cleaning - For anyone with naturally white teeth, surface stains can develop over time from the particles in the food/drinks they consume. Regular cleanings can reduce/minimize the amount of staining present on your teeth.

Professional GLO whitening treatment -  GLO treatment produces significant whitening of the tooths enamel and dentin when used in a controlled setting under the guidance of your dentist. 

Microabrasian - When there are developmental stains that have not responded well to professional whitening treatment(s), microabrasian may be explored as an additional option. Microabrasian is an in office treatment including the removal of a minor amount of enamel (0.1mm of enamel per treatment), to bring the deeper developmental stains to the surface of the tooth. This will then be followed by the tooth being treated with fluoride, in office whitening, along with at home fluoride treatments to target the areas of that were previously resistant to whitening treatment. 

Restorative treatment - In the event that a patients teeth have not responded to the more conservative whitening treatments mentioned above, veneers and crowns can be developed to immediately obtain the desired result. In addition to the whitening benefits of veneers and crowns, shape, size, angulation, and the symmetry between your teeth can also be effectively addressed.  

What decreases teeth whiteness?

-Tea: Although tea is healthy to drink, brewed tea (especially the black variety) can stain teeth more than coffee. Try and be moderate.

-Sports/energy drinks: These drinks can be quite acidic which can erode enamel making your teeth more prone to developmental stains. 

-Red wine: We’ve all seen what a spilt glass of red wine can do to a nice new white shirt. Although our teeth are certainly different than fabric, the concept is the same. Both red and white wine are quite acidic which over time can lead to erosion and the build up of stains. Again, all in moderation. 

-Soda/carbonated drinks: There are many acids/dyes in sodas such as cola, which of course, can lead to significant staining of the teeth. In addition, chemicals that contribute to a beverages flavor can also erode enamel over time. 

Rinse...then brush after eating

All of the drinks mentioned above are enjoyed by many, and although limiting them certainly has its benefits, you can still enjoy them in moderation without worrying too much about staining. The trick is to be mindful what you are consuming and then take the necessary action to avoid/limit the stains that could follow. If you can, rinse your mouth out with water after consuming food/drinks known to cause stains. If you have consumed acidic food/drinks, wait 30 minutes to one hour before brushing. 

Today we covered the topic of teeth whitening treatments, practices to maintain the whiteness of your teeth, and some products to be mindful of that can be prone to causing stains. Improving the health of our teeth, and building a routine to maintain them can seem intimidating at times, but it doesn’t have to be. At M Street Dental, we love supporting our patients on their journey to obtaining/maintaining the smile of their dreams. We’d love to hear from you! Book your appointment with us today and let us do the thinking while you kick back and relax. 

From all of us at M Street,

Stay Smiling 😉

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