Do you feel self-conscious when you smile because your teeth have lost their luster? If you’re worried that your teeth look a bit yellow or dull, the good news is that you can restore their beautiful brilliance. To help you, our Cary dentists are sharing six simple steps you can take to get whiter teeth and a vibrant smile.
What Causes Teeth to Discolor?
Before we dive into how to whiten your teeth, let’s look at the factors that cause them to discolor in the first place.
First, the outer coating of enamel is a hard, calcified material that is also porous which allows certain foods, beverages, and tobacco to seep into the enamel and discolor the teeth. Also, as the enamel loses minerals, the dentin, a yellow, softer material below the enamel, may become visible, giving the teeth a duller appearance.
6 Tips to Get Whiter Teeth
Now that you understand the factors that can affect whether your teeth stay bright, let’s look at how you can get whiter teeth and keep them looking that way!
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth regularly is the most important thing you can do to keep them bright and healthy. As you eat and drink, plaque, a thin, sticky material comprised of bacteria, saliva, and food particles, forms on your teeth, making them look dingy and dull. Brushing removes the plaque and any stain-causing elements that, if left on your teeth, will discolor them.
Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Even with regular brushing and flossing, it’s possible to miss plaque, especially around the gum line. Over time, the plaque will harden into calculus or tartar. Not only will this make the teeth appear yellow, but tartar can also irritate gum tissues, making them swollen, and prone to bleeding, and other concerns.
The only way to remove tartar is by getting a professional cleaning. Your dentist or dental hygienist can remove the deposits and revitalize your smile.
Brushing with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a very mild abrasive that can gently scrub away surface stains to help you get whiter teeth. While you can use it daily for a few days or a week to brighten your teeth, we wouldn’t recommend using it every time you brush. There are no cavity-fighting ingredients in it, and too much abrasive cleaning can actually damage the enamel. However, once a day for a few days should be fine.
Smoking and tobacco use is one of the biggest contributors to having yellowed, stained teeth. Also, smoking decreases saliva which is necessary for keeping your teeth rinsed and clean in between brushing which leads to added plaque buildup and increases your chance for tooth decay.
Take Care with Drinks that Stain Teeth
Red wine, coffee, tea, and colas all have tannins and other ingredients that can stain your teeth and make them look dull or yellow. Minimizing consumption of these beverages is the best way to prevent stains, but also, drinking through a straw will ensure the beverage bypasses the teeth more effectively.
If you need your favorite drink and don’t want to use a straw, you can still prevent stains by drinking a glass of water or rinsing your mouth after you have wine, coffee, tee, or cola. The biggest thing is to prevent the tannins from sitting on your teeth any longer than necessary.
Choose a Whitening Toothpaste
One of the simplest and most effective ways to get whiter teeth at home is to simply use a whitening toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. It will fight cavities and most likely will have peroxide and baking soda that work together to break down stains on the enamel and scrub them away.
If your teeth are sensitive, it’s important to ask your dentist if a whitening toothpaste is right for you.
Is Professional Teeth Whitening Right for You?
When you want a whiter, brighter smile, and you want to see significant results, consider professional teeth whitening. We use a safe, effective peroxide solution that breaks down stains and can take years of discoloration off your enamel, allowing them to look beautifully bright and vibrant.
Nearly anyone who wants to lighten their teeth is a good candidate for professional teeth whitening, though your dentist will examine your teeth first and provide restorative dentistry, like fillings, if needed before working on cosmetic dentistry to ensure your teeth are healthy as well as bright.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Dentists in Cary and Holly Springs Today
Whether you need a dental checkup and cleaning or would like to try professional whitening, we can help you get a beautiful smile. Call us at our Holly Springs dentist office at (919) 600-6262 and our Cary, NC dentist office at (919) 467-2203, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.