Stained teeth can be caused by a number of things: dental caries, food, smoking, medications, aging, and more. Although not all discolored teeth can be whitened, most day to day discoloration can be removed with the help of your dentist. Depending on your case, your dentist will determine the cause of your discoloration and provide you with recommendations and solutions to give you a whiter, brighter smile.
Three primary ways of teeth whitening are:
- In-Office Whitening
- Custom-made trays filled with high-concentration bleaching gel
- OTC (over the counter) bleaching strips
For patients whose teeth cannot be whitened, we suggest considering porcelain veneers as a whiter, brighter alternative.
In-office whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure in the world today. In-office whitening uses a highly concentrated bleach, which allows patients to see results instantly. Applied carefully by your dentist, this bleaching process, although powerful, is safe for patients and pain-free.
For this option, you will come in for an appointment to take dental impressions (a mold of your teeth) and pick up your custom-fit trays about two weeks later. Along with your trays, you will receive syringes of professional-grade tooth bleach to fill your trays with fresh bleach before each use. With this option, you can use your bleach trays as needed to get the whiteness you desire.
OTC Bleaching Strips
Over the counter bleaching strips are very popular as a budget-friendly way to whiten teeth. These strips are clear and easy to apply by simply sticking to the front of your teeth. Over the counter whitening strips are often suggested to use for 7 days in a row in order to see a noticeably whiter smile.
Tips for Naturally Whiter Teeth
- Switch to an electric toothbrush
- Brush with baking soda
- Eat strawberries
- Gargle with apple cider vinegar before brushing
- Use a straw when drinking coffee or tea
- Avoid other dark-colored drinks such as red wine, soda, and soy sauce
- Brush your teeth after eating acidic foods