Monday, July 9, 2012

Stop Hiding that Summer Smile!

Whether you are out watching fireworks, camping, golfing, fishing, or swimming, summer is a great time to smile. But if you’re anything like me, you have probably thought to yourself “I wish my teeth were whiter.” Tooth stains can strike anybody, although they are typically amplified by the use of tobacco products, (including smokeless tobacco) as well as some types of food and drink such as coffee or soda.

So, the question is… How can I make my teeth whiter?

The fact is, there are actually quite a few ways for you to whiten your teeth.

The first question you want to ask yourself is: “What color are my teeth now?” If you answered yellowish/off-white, then you are in luck. Yellow stains are typically the easiest to deal with. They can usually be taken care of by bleaching treatments. But we’ll get to that later.

If you find that your teeth are browner in color, you may have a tougher task in front of you. Brown colored teeth typically do not respond as well to bleaching treatments as yellow-colored teeth. Worse still would be teeth with a grayish hue. These teeth are the most difficult to whiten and often do not respond to bleaching treatments.

Before you try any tooth whitening procedures or products you should talk with your dentist. He or she will be able to judge whether or not tooth whitening will be effective for you. If your dentist does give you the go-ahead to begin tooth whitening, he will probably suggest one of these three ADA (American Dental Association) approved tooth whitening techniques:

In-office bleaching: This first type of tooth whitening procedure is actually performed by your dentist as opposed to the at-home tooth whitening options out there. To perform the procedure, your dentist will typically apply a protective gel to your gums or they may use rubber shielding to protect the rest of your mouth from the bleaching agent. From there, the dentist will apply the bleaching agent to your teeth and use a special light or laser to encourage the whitening effect. This procedure is generally quick, painless, and is conducted during a single visit to the dentist. This may be the most inconvenient method of tooth whitening but it is also typically the quickest to take effect and offers the best results.

At-home bleaching: You have probably seen commercials for the tooth whitening gels or strips that are available over the counter. These products make up the category known as at-home bleaching. They are usually peroxide based and instead of bleaching the entire tooth, these products typically bleach just the surface layer, otherwise known as the enamel, of the tooth. Unlike in-office bleaching procedures, these products must typically be used more than once before you will see dramatic results.

Whitening toothpaste: The third option available to whiten your teeth is whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes act just like regular toothpaste except they include a few extra polishing agents that help remove surface stains. Just like at-home bleaching products, these toothpastes cannot change the actual color of your teeth, they can simply help remove surface stains.

By: Shawn McNally

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