There is nothing less attractive than having stained, yellow, brown, or even gray teeth. Almost every adult encounters things on a daily basis that stain and ruin their pearly white teeth: coffee, red wine, medications, and smoking are all reasons why our teeth tend to gray and lose their “white” appeal as time ears on.
Dentists will charge you an arm and a leg to get your teeth whitened (this can very well cost $500 or more) so unless you feel like sinking that kind of money into your teeth every couple of years to maintain that glowing smile, you should try these tips to help whiten your teeth.
- Brush twice a day and floss once a day. Most of us are “okay” at brushing our teeth, meaning we’ll pass a toothbrush over our teeth for maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute twice a day. But as a dentist just recently advised, you should be brushing the tooth and gum area for at least 2 minutes and even more ideally for up to 4 minutes in total. Floss regularly to help prevent tartar buildup and further stains that cannot be reached with a toothbrush.
- Speaking of brushing your teeth, why not give whitening toothpastes a go? These toothpastes are unfortunately not as effective as the commercials would like to lead you to believe, but if you do use them regularly you will be making a large stride towards keeping your teeth whit and clean.
- Visit your dentist regularly. If you have a health plan, see what sort of coverage you have and take advantage of it! You should ideally see your dentist twice a year, and at a minimum of once a year, so that you can have a professional cleaning of your teeth. This helps remove stains and tartar, and they will help keep your gums in tip top shape.
- At-home whitening kits. There are a lot of these on the market these days, and they certainly will make a difference. Most involve placing some sort of “tape” that has a bleach or whitening product over your teeth, which you then leave on for a specified period of time. Some of these products also involve using some sort of mouth guard that has a bleaching gel inside.
You wear this mouth guard for 2 hours a day for two weeks, and you are left with beautiful teeth. These sorts of products are quite similar to what a dentist would use in his or her own office. A dentist will place a bleaching coating over your teeth and activate the solution with a light.
These treatments will take up at least 30 minutes, if not a full hour, every time you go in to the dentist’s office. You will also need to visit more than once to really benefit from a professional teeth whitening program.
If none of these work, don’t worry – there’s always veneers that you can have placed over your teeth. Though these are expensive, they are the most effective for anyone who has the money and no time to properly take the steps necessary to have whiter teeth.