Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. You look in the mirror and notice some unsightly stains on your teeth. But don’t worry…there’s still time to plan ahead and achieve a whiter smile in time for the big date.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to follow when it comes to teeth whitening:
DO know the limits of whitening products
With whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter whitening kits, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance for safety and effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes lighten surface stains, while bleach lightens beneath the surface for more effective results. OTC whitening kits can whiten teeth several shades, but they can also be messy and difficult to apply, and they don’t reach all the tight areas of the teeth. Therefore, you may get inconsistent or uneven results with such kits.
“Whitening kinds of toothpaste lighten surface stains, while bleach lightens
beneath the surface for more effective results.”
DON’T consume large amounts of teeth-staining foods and beverages
Try and stay away from coffee, tea, red wine, dark juices, cola and even pasta sauce. When you do have these foods and drinks, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
DO consult your dentist before any whitening procedure
The dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth and recommend a course of action. S/he will also give you an idea of how well you should expect a particular whitening method to work. And keep in mind, whitening does not work on veneers, caps, fillings or crowns.
“S/he will also give you an idea of how well you should expect a particular whitening method to work.”
Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are major sources of stubborn tooth stains.
DO follow instructions
No matter which whitening method you use, be mindful of the recommended time for keeping the treatment on your teeth; you don’t want to overdo it. Whitening products may cause temporary tooth sensitivity or irritation of soft tissue.
DON’T skip regular cleanings
Brushing your teeth every day is important, but only professional dental cleanings can reach all the surfaces of your teeth for a deep clean. Preventive care is the most cost-effective method for keeping your teeth clean, healthy and stain-free.
DO consider options at the dentist office
In our office, we offer both in-office whitening and custom teeth whitening trays. The in-office procedure takes just one visit to drastically whiten your teeth. For most effective at-home whitening, we suggest the custom whitening trays, which are made to fit your mouth exactly. Impressions of your mouth are taken in one visit, and the trays are ready for you in one to two days.
DO be patient
Results take time, but a gorgeous smile is worth the wait.