Your Lincoln dentist on teeth whitening:
Do you want whiter teeth? Have you tried several different whitening methods that proved to be ineffective? As your Lincoln dentist, I want you to know that there may be reasons beyond the type of whitening products you are using that may be limiting your results. Have you ever thought about the types of foods and drinks you consume each day?
As a Lincoln dentist, I know that everyone wants to feel confident and proud of their smile. Unfortunately, having stains or tooth discoloration can make many patients feel self-conscious about their smile. Over time, our teeth pick up stains from the foods we eat as well as habits like smoking. The good news is that it is quite easy to lighten teeth and help patients achieve a lighter, brighter smile by whitening. Many patients elect to try professional in-office whitening at our affordable dentist in Lincoln, NE. Check our social media pages on Facebook as well as our website for whitening promotions to help reduce the cost of professional whitening. For patients who simply cannot afford professional whitening, there are a few things they can try at home to lighten the teeth naturally.
Your Lincoln dentist discusses whitening teeth at home:
- Stay Hydrated. The human body is mostly made up of water. Because if this, as your Lincoln dentist, I recommend to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day. This keeps our mouth moisturized and able to help naturally cleanse the teeth from the sugars from the foods we eat during the day. When sugar and bacteria stay stuck to the tooth surface for too long, it causes damage to the enamel of the tooth, permanently discoloring the tooth.
- One tip every Lincoln dentist recommends is to avoid drinking acidic or sugary beverages between meals. Soda has sugar and acids that can break down the enamel of the tooth, including yellowing. Drinking tea and coffee without sweetener added is better for the health of the teeth, but can also cause discoloration. If you do continue to drink these beverages, use a straw to avoid direct contact with your white teeth. For a better source of sustained energy, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with lots of vitamins.
- Avoid red wine. Just like coffee and tea, red wine gets into the enamel of the tooth, causing discoloration. Limiting your intake of red wine will help prolong your whitening efforts.
- Eat lots of crunchy raw fruit and vegetables like pears, apples and carrots. These types of foods help to cleanse the teeth naturally by helping you produce more saliva as well as help keep you hydrated throughout the day.
- Hydrogen peroxide can be diluted with water and used as a mouth rinse to gently whiten teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient in many tooth whitening products and will whiten the teeth gradually if used in this way. It will take much longer to see results using this method than using a tooth-whitening system.
- Dark-colored fruits like pomegranate or blueberries have similar effects on the teeth to red wine. If eaten in large quantities regularly, you may notice some staining. These foods are extremely good for your health, so we do not recommend avoiding eating them entirely.
- Tobacco products are bad for your health, but are also extremely bad for your oral health. Not only does using tobacco lead to periodontal disease, tooth loss and oral cancer, using it regularly stains the teeth permanently.
- Whitening strips can be purchased at pharmacies and are effective at whitening teeth. Patients who have highly sensitive teeth should not whiten using these products. It is important to avoid allowing the gel from these strips to have prolonged contact with gums to avoid sensitivity. Your Lincoln dentist offers professional home-whitening systems. Call our office for pricing at your affordable dentist in Lincoln, NE Lincoln Family Dentistry.
- Having great home-care and brushing thoroughly with whitening toothpaste twice a day helps to remove surface stains from foods as well as controlling the amount of bacteria on the teeth that lead to tooth decay.
- Oil pulling can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, helping reduce enamel damage and tooth discoloration. Oil pulling is done by swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth for 15 minutes, then spitting.
As your Lincoln dentist, I hope that these simple tips can help you to keep your smile healthy and bright. If you want to professionally whiten your teeth, you can call our office and ask about teeth whitening. If you choose to go with professional whitening, you should use the tips mentioned here to help maintain your results longer.
Dr. Kelly O’Hara,
Your Lincoln dentist
Commonly Asked Questions on Teeth Whitening
What are the side effects of whitening strips?
Whitening strips come with some side effects, most commonly increased tooth sensitivity and mild gum irritation, which can last for several days. A great way is to prevent sensitivity by using custom made whitening trays that will keep your gums from being exposed to whitening agents.
How much does it cost to get your teeth professionally whitened? Your affordable dentist in Lincoln, NE answers:
The cost of teeth whitening varies depending on where you live and what type of whitening system your dentist uses. In Lincoln, NE professional whitening can range from $450-$600. Call Lincoln Family Dentistry to learn more about our pricing and seasonal whitening promotions.
What is the number one ingredient for whitening teeth? Your Lincoln dentist answers:
Most over-the-counter whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient does lighten the teeth. Professional systems usually use a slightly different ingredient called carbamide peroxide. Scientific studies have shown that both ingredients offer the same results at the same concentrations. The main difference is how fast each works. Your Lincoln dentist uses a professional system with carbamide peroxide. This system has an advantage of also containing a desensitizing agent that will help reduce post-whitening tooth sensitivity.
Can I get white teeth in one day? Your Lincoln dentist answers:
Patients who opt to do in-office professional whitening will have the most dramatic results in one day over any other tooth-whitening method. It is important for patients to know that the level of brightness they can expect to achieve differs from one person to another greatly. Patients who have thin, translucent enamel will not be able to reach the same whitening results as patients with thick, dense enamel. Your affordable dentist in Lincoln, NE can show you a shade-guide and help you know what to expect from whitening. It is unlikely that any home tooth-whitening remedy will yield noticeable results in one day, including whitening strips.
Can charcoal whiten teeth? Your Lincoln dentist answers:
There is no scientific evidence that charcoal toothpaste is effective at whitening teeth. It is possible that gently brushing with an abrasive substance like charcoal or baking soda can help to remove surface stains from coffee or red wine, but there has not been a study to prove charcoal as an effective whitening agent. If you choose to use something like charcoal or baking soda for surface stains, be careful to limit your brushing with these products to only 1-2 times weekly and use very gentle pressure. It is possible to damage tooth structure by brushing aggressively with highly abrasive substances.
Is bleaching your teeth bad for them? Your Lincoln dentist answers:
Whitening your teeth with peroxide-based professional whitening systems from the dentist or white-strips you can purchase over the counter is completely safe for the teeth. Patients who have extremely sensitive teeth normally should not whiten, as whitening temporarily dehydrates the teeth, making them more sensitive.
How long does teeth bleaching last? Your Lincoln dentist answers:
Professional teeth whitening results usually last 2-3 years, but this can vary depending on your habits. Patients who smoke, drink lots of coffee or red wine are less likely to have long-lasting results.