With all of the whitening products on the market, you may find you are overwhelmed. If you have considered whitening, but aren’t sure that your teeth really need it, we are going to offer you some solutions that you can try on your own before committing to a commercial whitener.
Stay away from staining foods
The number one thing you can do to keep your teeth white is to stay away from foods that stain your teeth. Some common culprits include: coffee, tea, colas, and berries. Avoiding these foods is not always possible, but there are a couple of things you can do to lessen their impact to stain your teeth. Firstly, use a straw when you are drinking to help keep the colored fluids away from your teeth (specifically, your front teeth). Secondly, you can swish with water when you have finished eating or drinking. The water will help to rinse your teeth and move the staining compounds away from your enamel. Our Evanston dentist office does not recommend brushing immediately after eating acidic foods, as the lowered pH makes your teeth more susceptible to erosion. If you don’t have any water available, chewing sugarless gum can also help as this will increase your saliva production to help protect your teeth and increase the pH.
This is a straight forward solution. Smoking stains your teeth. It will also help reduce your risk of oral cancer and lung cancer.
Use whitening toothpaste
These toothpastes are usually more abrasive than non-whitening toothpastes. They will remove any surface stains that develop throughout the day. As these are more abrasive toothpastes, we do recommend whitening toothpaste with fluoride, or adding a fluoride rinse to your routine if you use this type of dentifrice. Our Evanston doctors don’t recommend long term use of whitening toothpastes due to their abrasiveness. Instead, use whitening toothpaste to touch up after consuming staining foods.
Another option you may try, is brushing with baking soda and 3% peroxide. In this case, dip your toothbrush in the peroxide and then dip it lightly in baking soda. Baking soda is very abrasive, so you do not need a large amount of baking soda. Keep in mind that this will not foam up like your toothpaste; there is no need to use extra baking soda. If you do decide to go this route, brush with toothpaste that contains fluoride afterwards. The fluoride will help remineralize your teeth as well as help with any sensitivity that may result.
These tips are good for everyone to keep in mind. Whether you already have white teeth or are thinking of using a whitening product, you need to remember that whitening is a continuous process as your teeth are always susceptible to stains. Whitening will reset your teeth to a whiter shade, but it is up to you to keep them white. If you are interested in finding out more about your options for whitening, contact our Evanston dental office to find out more.