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We all want our best and brightest smiles, and today there are many options that we can explore at home to make those beautiful smiles a reality. From healthy habits, a healthy diet, a whitening toothpaste, or a do-it-yourself home product, everyone has the opportunity to achieve whiter teeth.
HEALTHY HABITS. Proper brushing is the first step in keeping your teeth stain-free. Two minutes twice a day is the key. One of the highest missed areas is between and at the base of each tooth.
HEALTHY DIET. While most everyone considers that red wine, coffee, and tea can cause some of the worst enamel stains, acidic drinks like soft drinks and citrus beverages can cause even more problems by dissolving tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin underneath. Moderation and rinsing with water can reduce the potential damage.
WHITENING TOOTHPASTE. Toothpastes are available that can remove surface stains, which can keep your teeth their whitest after a professional whitening. However, the whitening ingredients won't penetrate the enamel surface or change the natural color of your teeth.
OTC WHITENING KITS. These products provide a peroxide-based gel that can be applied in a tray or with strips. If you choose a tray application, make sure that the trays fit properly so sensitive areas in your mouth are not irritated. If you decide on the strip method, always make sure that ALL of the tooth surfaces are covered to avoid uneven whitening.
While all of these whitening methods can be helpful, there are some circumstances when a professional whitening is best. Professional gel whiteners are more powerful, and can be more effective on darker stains that OTC products can't remove. On the other hand, some conditions, such as deep stains from trauma or medication, may require a different dental cosmetic procedure like veneers to achieve whiter teeth.
A smile makeover is usually a combination of one or more cosmetic dental procedures. To achieve your desired result, our dental team may perform or suggest a variety of options. The entire process is designed specifically for your unique cosmetic needs, and we will make sure that all of your concerns regarding your smile are addressed.
Check out the most common procedures available in dentistry today:
- TOOTH WHITENING: Whiter teeth are achieved through a bleaching process typically using hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Yellower teeth usually respond well to this procedure, while brown-colored teeth stained by fluorosis or taking tetracycline do not respond as well to whitening. Tooth whitening is not for everyone; if you have sensitive teeth, gum disease, or poor enamel can be common contraindications.
- ORTHODONTICS: Braces are one of the tried-and-true ways of achieving a healthier smile. Braces are typically worn for about 24 months to reposition the teeth in a straighter and safer alignment. There are several different types of braces, clear ceramic braces, lingual braces, and clear aligners.
- VENEERS: Veneers are thin, tooth-colored material designed to be placed on the front surface of teeth to improve their overall appearance. They can be used in cases where the color, shape, size, or length is not as desired. Veneers are usually used in cases where teeth are discolored, chipped, worn down, misaligned, irregular, or have gaps.
- IMPLANTS/BRIDGES: Dental implants and bridges are used to replace missing or broken teeth. Nowadays, both implants and bridges are commonly performed procedures. Implants integrate directly with the jawbone, while bridges are placed over the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth. Implant technology has advanced a great deal in recent years and highly biocompatible ceramic materials are becoming more commonplace.