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professional teeth whitening ooltewah tnA bride or groom feeling self-conscious about their smile may ask a wedding photographer to use Photoshop for the illusion of having white teeth in their wedding photos. Perhaps you’ve adjusted the settings on Instagram to hide a yellow tinge in your own smile before sharing a social media post. In real life, we can’t hide behind layers of pixels. Every time we encounter someone face-to-face, they see our teeth and recognize whether the enamel is yellowed or stained.

If you’ve worried about the appearance of your smile, perhaps you’ve researched how to whiten your teeth at home. Maybe you’ve wondered “how much does professional teeth whitening cost?” without ever following through to find out. But while the Internet may offer lots of ways to cut corners and save money, including home remedies for removing plaque naturally, you may not want to experiment with unqualified advice off the web about do-it-yourself bleaching yours with chemicals that may not even do anything.

Cosmetic services by a professional dentist, on the other hand, come with the expectation that procedures for teeth whitening to decrease such discoloration will be safely performed and prove effective, leading to better results and, in turn, more self-confidence.

In this month's blog, Tedford Family Dentistry (which offers teeth whitening at our Ooltewah TN dentist office) wants to shed some light on real solutions to this common issue.

What’s the Best way to Whiten Teeth?

Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

There is some merit to the idea of brushing with baking soda because it contains natural whitening properties, adds alkaline to your mouth that deters bacteria growth, and it is a mild abrasive so brushing with it can work sort of like buffing away stains while scrubbing your tub clean.

Studies of toothpaste containing baking soda do suggest some whitening occurs, although there’s no proof that it makes you ready for your close-up overnight. 

Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth?

If you are considering peroxide teeth whitening, you might experience more success if you ask your dentist to mold a gel tray to your mouth. Most of the products on pharmacy shelves are made to fit most mouths rather than being a snug fit for more optimal results.

Mixing hydrogen peroxide heavily diluted with mouthwash may help overall with oral hygiene because of its ability to kill bacteria. But be careful to avoid strong concentrations or overuse, which may result in irritation or increased tooth sensitivity.

Some other supposed natural teeth whitening methods include eating pineapples, mixing baking soda with strawberries, drinking apple cider vinegar, using activated charcoal, Kaolin clay, fruit peels, but there’s no scientific evidence these substances work effectively and are safe. In fact, excessive use could actually damage teeth. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for you, but don’t expect to wake up with a dazzling white smile after eating some the night before and remember that berries can stain teeth. 

Some solutions may only clean stains on the surface of teeth but not last long. Discontinue using any home remedies or commercially-available whiteners if you experience serious tooth sensitivity. To reduce the risk of using unsafe products, we recommend you look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Consider a Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

During professionally applied treatments, dentists may use higher concentrations of bleaching solutions that aren’t available in over-the-counter products, but you have the comfort of knowing that procedures are done under supervision with protective steps taken before we begin.

Discoloration involves increased visibility of Dentin, a yellowish tissue under the enamel of a tooth, over time. Thinning of the enamel is a root cause of discoloration, so it’s wise to involve your dentist in the solution. Regular cleanings at the dentist’s office prevent the build-up of plaque. Keep on a schedule to stop plaque build-up. The best approach for whitening teeth at home may be to stay persistent in regular brushing and flossing.

The Bottom Line: It Can Take Weeks to Notice Results

When trying to get whiter teeth, patience is needed. It's dangerous to risk a “quick fix” solution in search of expediency. You need to talk to your dentist before trying any of the things we've covered here. He or she could save you time and money, along with protecting your gums from chemical oversaturation.

Take Action to Prevent further Tooth Stains

Whitening won’t be a major problem if you limit exposure to the things that stain teeth in the first place, like coffee, red wine, sodas, and dark berries. Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco too. Some changes to your diet can also help things along. Foods with calcium can help protect teeth erosion while eating less sugar can lead to less plaque buildup on teeth.

It’s understandable that we want to present a gorgeous white smile that communicates health and good hygiene, but we need to be careful and avoid risking damage from chemical remedies that aren’t proven to work. The best thing for patients to be is to be patient and not expect overnight results. Meanwhile, make some dietary changes, limit exposure to staining foods and beverages, and keep brushing and flossing daily to help see improvement.

Talk to your dentist before you try whitening your teeth with chemical solutions at home. Saving a little money, but correcting damage caused by careless use may cost more in the long run. 

Copyright: puhhha / 123RF Stock Photo Written by Steven Stiefel

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 16:00

At Home Teeth Whitening

Ooltewah TN dentistYour smile is one of the first things people notice about you. With new over the counter products and cosmetic dental procedures, bright white smiles are attainable on almost every budget. While the risks associated with at home whitening products are minimal, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting the whitening process.

Before starting any at home whitening, schedule a trip to the dentist for an exam and cleaning. It is important to have your teeth and gums assessed before you begin. Your dentist will also be able to recommend the proper product for your needs.

Many at home teeth whitening kits contain carbamide peroxide. When selecting a product, choose one with a peroxide in the 15% range. You want to ensure that the product will not irritate your mouth. It is also important to follow the directions exactly as stated, never leaving the gels or strips on for longer than specified. Leaving the product on for too long can result in sore gums and other potential problems. After whitening your teeth, avoid acidic and sugary drinks for several hours.

Whitening your teeth can cause them to be sensitive, but it usually only lasts for a short period of time. If the sensitivity and discomfort persist then stop treatment immediately. Do not bleach your teeth more often than necessary as repeated exposure can be harmful to your teeth. Follow the product instructions for best result and when you have reached your desired result, limit the whitening to a few times a year.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 12:05

Caring for Your Cosmetic Dental Procedure

cosmetic dentist OoltewahYour smile is one of your best features, and usually the first thing people notice. If you are less than pleased with your pearly whites, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your dental issues. Cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, dental veneers, and dental implants can all provide a permanent improvement and give you the confidence you need to really make your smile shine.

Like any other medical procedure, there are steps you should take to maintain the results of your cosmetic dentistry enhancements. Following your treatment, there will be instructions for care and for maximizing the benefits of the procedure. It is important that you follow these instructions and contact your dentist if a problem should arise. Additionally, there are a few other behaviors to avoid if you want to keep your smile at its best.

  • To keep your smile at its brightest, you will want to reduce your intake of soda, tea and coffee. When consuming these beverages, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth as the liquids can stain.
  • Switch that sugary snack for one that is high in protein. Diets that are high in sugar can lead to tooth decay resulting in more invasive dental work, while high protein diets support oral health.
  • Ice crunching is a common habit, but can lead to serious tooth damage. The crunching behavior can fracture or crack your teeth resulting in more invasive dental work.
  • Wear a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding. Continual grinding increases your risk of cracks or fractures in your teeth or dental veneers.
  • Biting your fingernails puts excessive pressure on your teeth and can be especially harmful if you have dental veneers. Consider nail polish or acrylic tips to help reduce the biting urge.
  • When you use your tongue to press against your upper teeth, you can cause your teeth to shift over time. This pressure can ultimately change the appearance of your teeth and lower face.

Keep your teeth at their healthiest and your smile at its whitest and brightest with cosmetic dental enchantments from our Chattanooga dentist.

Written by Tiffany Hutton
Published in Blog