While this post is titled “Teeth Whitening Tips!”, an alternate title could be “Teeth Whitening Common Sense!”. Although there are useful tips that are provided in this post, some of it is just plain old common sense. So listen up and we’ll help you on your way to whiter teeth and hopefully with some of our tips you can avoid some discomfort and pain while we’re at it.
Teeth whitening works very much in the same way as bleaching hair or clothes. The bleaching process is very similar between all three of these processes in that the whitening agent (either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide for teeth whitening) reacts with light reflecting molecules (also known as chromophores) breaking down the chemical bonds in these molecules causing them to break down into a different substance and no longer absorbing visible light. The whitening agent also kills stain causing bacteria making your teeth appear whiter. The sun is also a whitening agent, which is why over time the color of a car’s paint will change and is the reason why lights are used in the teeth whitening process as well.
The problem with using chemical whitening agents with teeth whitening is not that they are dangerous (because they are not, especially at the concentrations that are used) is that they can cause sensitivity to teeth and gums alike. Most of this sensitivity and/or pain can be avoided ahead of whitening your teeth. How? By going to the dentist of course! Your dentist can spot out problems such as cavities, leaky fillings, or any other issues that you may have. The reason for doing this is teeth whitening works by the bleaching agent being absorbed by the enamel and oxidizing the stains on the dentin underneath. If you have any sort of dental problems, they can become very painful if exposed to the teeth whitening agent. If you go to the dentist ahead of teeth whitening, you can cut down the amount of pain to almost ZERO!
Another tip is not only to watch what you drink, but HOW you drink it! If you want to have an amazingly white smile, it’s not a good idea to drink dark colored beverages such as cola, coffee, tea, and even red wine. The same molecules that make these beverages a dark color will also make your teeth dark. By avoiding these beverages you can help keep your teeth looking their whitest. We know that it is nearly impossible to avoid dark colored beverages, so we recommend that if you do drink dark colored beverages, drink them through a straw. The reason is to limit the beverage from coming into contact with your teeth, to keep the discoloring to a minimum. Although, you will look pretty silly drinking wine through a straw!
Another tip is to watch what you eat. Certain foods actually help whiten and clean your teeth. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry ® (AACD), foods such as apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower, and cucumbers produce saliva which helps kill staining bacteria. An added benefit of eating these foods is that they contain fiber which actually physically removes bacteria and cleans teeth at the same time!
Lastly, nasty habits such as smoking produce staining molecules that attach themselves to teeth while the smoke is being inhaled. These molecules are difficult (but not impossible) to remove. By quitting this habit, not only will you save money, but you will also be able to keep your teeth whiter for a much longer time.
By following these simple tips, you will be able to keep your teeth healthy and white for a much longer time. Don’t forget though, that as time progresses your teeth will naturally loose their luster and will need an occasional whitening to help bring them back to their previous brilliance.