Can You Whiten Teeth at Home
Certain foods, coffee, and tea are just a few of the ways teeth can become stained. Fortunately, people can continue to enjoy these items as there are several ways they can whiten their teeth from the comfort of home.
Ways to Whiten Teeth at Home
Before beginning a fishers teeth whitening indiana treatment, patients should first consult with a dentist who will be able to determine what caused the staining and recommend suitable whitening options. The dentist will also identify whether the staining is intrinsic, affecting the inner layers of the teeth, or extrinsic, affecting the outer layers of the teeth. If the staining is intrinsic, home remedies will not be effective and more robust treatment will be required. However, if discoloration is extrinsic, at-home whitening treatments can be employed to remove surface staining.
The two most popular methods for whitening teeth from home are custom whitening trays and various over-the-counter products.
- Custom Whitening Trays: Customized based on impressions taken of the patient’s teeth, these trays are available at the dentist’s office to use at home. The dentist applies a whitening agent, typically hydrogen peroxide based, to the teeth via the custom fitted plastic tray that the patient wears. The dentist will provide instructions on how long the trays should be worn. And while the results are not instantaneous, at-home whitening trays can have a noticeable effect on removing surface discoloration.
- Over-The-Counter Whitening Products: One of the easiest methods for reducing tooth staining is to incorporate a whitening toothpaste, mouth rinse, or gel into the oral hygiene routine. The level of hydrogen peroxide is much less concentrated with these store-bought options and as such, take longer and are less effective than professional options. Whitening strips are another popular method. These clear plastic strips are worn over the teeth daily for about 30 minutes for a period of one to two weeks.
Habits for a Brighter Smile
Being proactive and preventing staining from occurring in the first place is one of the best ways to maintain a bright, white smile. To ensure the teeth are clean and to promote good oral health, patients should adhere to the following at-home measures:
- Clean between the teeth daily using dental floss, a water pick, or other interdental cleaner.
- Brush the teeth two times per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush; a whitening toothpaste or one with baking soda, can also be added to help scrub away surface stains.
- Avoid or reduce the consumption of foods and drinks that cause tooth staining (i.e. tea, coffee, red wine, blueberries, blackberries, tomato sauces, etc.).
- Chew sugar-free gum following meals to stimulate the production of saliva needed to flush away food debris and bacteria.
- Avoid smoking or using chewing tobacco.
- Visit the dentist for regular checkups, examinations, and cleanings.
- Ensure the diet is rich in enamel-strengthening calcium (ex. milk, cheese, or broccoli).
- Add natural remedies to the routine such as oil pulling, kaolin clay, apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal, or fruit peels.
- While none have scientific evidence of efficacy, proponents claim they are capable of removing tooth discoloration.