We would all love to have bright white teeth, but most of us know from bitter experience that no matter how much we brush or floss, it’s hard to achieve. For some reason, our smiles never look quite as good as the models in the toothpaste commercials.
It turns out, though, that practically everyone can get bright white teeth, even those with naturally yellow or brown tooth enamel.
In this post, we take a look at some of the obvious and not-so-obvious strategies you can use to make your smile pearly and bright.
Brushing And Flossing Regularly
Plaque is a soft, sticky film made of millions of tiny bacteria that slowly covers your teeth throughout the day. Bacteria feed on food debris in your mouth and start multiplying, eventually creating a film.
Plaque is usually invisible, but it’s older, nastier cousin, tartar, isn’t. Tartar is what you get when plaque builds up, hardens, and then solidifies in place. It’s usually yellowy-brown and wholly unpleasant to look at.
When it comes to tartar, the best approach is to prevent it by flossing and brushing twice daily. If you already have it, you can buy special tartar-fighting toothpaste that breaks it down over time. If that doesn’t work, you can visit our hygienists to remove it manually.
Avoid Certain Foods, Drinks, And Smoking
You probably already know that sugar is harmful to your teeth. But did you know that there are many other foods and drinks in the average person’s diet that can also lead to discoloration?
Here’s a list of the most common culprits:
- Red wine
- Balsamic vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauces
- Fruit juices
Many of these foods contain high concentrations of plant chemicals called tannins. These are generally healthy compounds that protect the plant from sunlight, disease, and predators. But they also have strong pigment properties and can infiltrate your teeth’s enamel, leading to staining.
Smoking also turns teeth yellow-brown. Tar and nicotine in the fumes interact with the surface of teeth, depositing pigment chemicals that are difficult to remove with regular brushing alone.
The best solution is to avoid the foods listed above and to refrain from smoking.
If you still want to enjoy fruit juices or berry smoothies, you might want to drink them through a straw instead so that you bypass the teeth at the front of the mouth.
Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist regularly is essential because it allows you to prevent oral health problems before they start causing you serious issues.
Take plaque, for instance. Dentists can prevent it from building up the point where it produces tartar. And if you already have calculus in the gaps and recesses of your teeth, they can remove it.
Dentists can also deal with gum disease and other conditions that put you at risk of tooth loss. Unique treatments help to heal the gum and deal with periodontal infections around the roots of teeth.
Lastly, we can provide whitening treatments. These usually involve applying a potent bleaching agent to the teeth to discolor embedded stains and recover the surrounding enamel’s natural whiteness.
Straightening Your Teeth For Better Cleaning
Many patients believe that aesthetics are the only reason for straightening teeth. But that’s not true. While having straight teeth is nice, it also reduces the likelihood of decay.
The problem is this: when teeth are crooked, it becomes harder to brush all of their surfaces. You often wind up with nooks and crannies in your mouth where bacteria are free to thrive. And when this happens, it can lead to decay, discoloration, and tooth loss.
Fortunately, there are now many methods for straightening teeth. Traditional wire and post braces are great if teeth are severely misaligned. Clear retainers, such as Invisalign, are a more discreet option when the misalignment isn’t as severe.
Again, dentists and orthodontists can help here, providing the tooth alignment system best-suited to your needs. Once your teeth fall into line, they become far easier to clean thoroughly.
Don’t Brush Too Hard
Ideally, you want to apply around four ounces of pressure to your toothbrush – approximately a quarter of a pound. This force provides enough abrasion to scrape the plaque off your teeth, but not so much that you damage your smile.
Brushing too hard can cause several problems. The main concern is enamel wear when brushing action physically removes material from the surface of the teeth, causing them to thin over time. If you allow this process to continue, it can expose the brittle, yellow dentin underneath, dulling your smile.
Brushing too hard also causes a second problem: receding gums. Continually applying force to your gum line can cause it to recede, exposing the roots below and making your teeth look longer.
Use A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is a good idea for the same reason as brushing gently. More delicate fibers allow you to clean your teeth without damaging the enamel or the gumline.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the best toothbrushes feature soft, multi-layered, multi-angle bristles to provide full cleaning coverage while minimizing the risk of damage.
Get Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening refers to a set of cosmetic treatments designed to brighten your smile artificially.
These take many different forms.
- Whitening toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste is the most basic form of tooth whitening available. They are the same as regular toothpaste and contain a bleaching agent to turn stains on your teeth white.
- Home kits: Home kits are more intense whitening treatments that you can apply at home that you use alongside regular brushing. These can take the forms of strips or trays and gels you apply to your teeth before cleaning them off. They’re usually more effective than whitening toothpaste.
- In-office whitening: The most effective whitening treatment is in-office treatment at the dentist. We use high-performance bleaches to make your teeth several shades whiter.
So there you have it! These are many ways you can brighten and whiten your teeth. For additional information and help getting a whiter smile, contact Godley Station Dental or schedule an appointment online.