Dull, yellow teeth can mar a beautiful smile. Thus, many people look for ways to keep their teeth looking white and healthy. Here are a few ways to keep your smile white and bright.
Have Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly
Professional dental cleanings remove the yellow, porous substance called tartar that can build up on your teeth. Tartar, which is calcified plaque, is so hard that brushing regularly does not remove it. The hardened plaque must be scaled from the teeth.
Due to its yellow hue and lack of sheen, tartar can make your teeth appear dingy and discolored. When your dentist removes tartar from your teeth and polishes your tooth enamel, your teeth automatically appear whiter. Be sure to have your teeth cleaned at least twice annually.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpastes use slightly abrasive ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate or titanium dioxide, to gently polish away surface stains. Deep stains are unlikely to be removed by a whitening toothpaste. However, the paste can help maintain your current tooth color.
Use a Whitening Kit
Whitening kits are designed for home use and provide chemical whitening. The kits typically include a peroxide-base whitening product, an applicator, and detailed instructions.
Over-the-counter kits may require several weeks of use to whiten your teeth. Additionally, it is important to follow the kit instructions exactly. Overuse of whitening products can cause chronic dental sensitivity.
Use a Fluoride Rinse
Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth. The tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth material, is white. However, the underlying dentin layer has a yellow hue.
As the tooth enamel is dissolved by bacterial acids or eroded by wear and tear, more of the dentin layer may be exposed. To help rebuild the enamel, a fluoride rinse can be used.
The fluoride attracts minerals back to the enamel, forming a new tooth material. The new enamel helps to keep your teeth looking white.
Have Your Teeth Whitened Professionally
Your dentist can whiten your teeth in their office using dental bleaching products. The products, which provide chemical whitening, are applied to the teeth and allowed to remain in place for a prescribed period. Often, the dentist also exposes the teeth to a specialized light while the product is in place. The light increases the effectiveness of the dental bleaching agent for better results. A single professional whitening session may whiten your teeth multiple shades.
If you would like to have your teeth professionally whitened, schedule a consultation with a dentist, such as Jacob L. Revercomb DMD, in your local area.