Have you tried whitening your teeth before, but with disappointing results? Check out these quick tips and tricks I use to give our patients the whitest teeth possible.
1. Choose the right toothpaste.
Many people will reach for a toothpaste that advertises “whitening” on the label, but this whitening effect is mainly due to an increased amount of abrasive particles in the toothpaste. These particles physically brush off the stain, but may also brush off a small amount of the enamel (outer layer) of your teeth. Over time, this can cause sensitivity in your teeth.
2. Protect your teeth against sensitivity.
To minimize sensitivity when whitening, I recommend brushing with sensitivity toothpaste (any toothpaste with the ingredient 5% potassium nitrate) for 2 weeks before whitening and throughout the whitening period. One of my favorite sensitivity toothpastes is Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Protection.
3. Try in-office whitening or take-home custom trays.
These whitening treatments are professionally administered by myself or other members of the Bluejay team. We ensure that everything is customized to your teeth, and everything fits as it should before you get started. Whitening strips that are available over the counter typically only whiten the front teeth, leaving a visible difference between the front and back teeth afterwards.
4. Know your ingredients.
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the two most common active ingredients used in professional whitening gels. They come in different concentrations and formulations that make them more effective for shorter bursts of daytime whitening or longer periods of whitening overnight.
5. Avoid teeth-staining foods.
Foods and drinks such as blueberries, blackberries, coffee, tea, wine, and soda can all stain your teeth. Avoid these foods or rinse with water after eating them to prevent permanent staining on the enamel surfaces of your teeth.
6. Say no to smoking!
Not only is quitting smoking beneficial for your health, it can also protect your teeth from the yellowing stains of tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to take the first step.
7. Switch to an electric toothbrush.
After whitening, using an electric toothbrush will help brush away more plaque and external stain, maintaining your new shade for longer.
8. Don’t forget about touch ups.
To maintain your pearly whites, touch up with whitening gel and your custom trays one day a month or 3 days every six months.