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Teeth Whitening Tips and Products

Updated on October 4, 2010

There is very little that can get in the way of a good smile. It can improve your mood, the mood of others and is a universal gesture of warmth and openness. Having white teeth to go with your smile will do a world of good and go a very long way to opening doors and welcoming opportunities both personally and professionally. The suggestions in this article will help give you a brighter whiter smile.

Starting With The Obvious

First off all if you are not brushing your teeth regularly (2-3 times a day) to begin with then you are likely looking for a silver bullet. Regardless of whether you undergo any teeth whitening treatment these home teeth whitening tips below are extremely cheap and easy and they will help with whitening your teeth and more importantly maintaining their health and appearance throughout your life.

• Don’t brush too hard – A soft bristled tooth brush will be enough to clean your teeth and also be gentle enough to use on your gums. Using a toothbrush that’s as hard as a scrubbing brush will cause gum shrinkage that will make your teeth more sensitive as your gums shrink to expose more nerves.

• Brush using good technique – brush in small circular patterns across the front of your teeth and right up to the gum line. For the insides of your teeth closer to the mouth, use small flicks of your toothbrush from your gum upwards. The right technique will prevent you from damaging your gums and ensure your teeth are cleaned properly.

• Clean your tongue – Lots of bacteria can collect on your tongue and this will discolour your teeth and lead to bad breath so either use your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner ($2-$3 form your local drug store).

• FLOSS – Flossing is something that many people neglect. Flossing regularly particularly after meals will remove any plaque or food particles lodged in between your teeth and keeps your gums healthy. A build up of plaque around your teeth will encourage discolouring as food will stick to them easier.

• Book a dentist appointment! – Many people are scared of going to the dentist; the truth is that the longer you put it off the more painful it will be. Dental problems can quickly escalate from small inconveniences to major health issues because of the amount of blood vessels and nerves adjoining the mouth. Seeing your dentist every 6 months will keep you on top of any problems and treat them before they deteriorate any further.

Teeth Whitening Products

It’s easy to get confused with by the number of products on the market so let’s take a look at some of the best teeth whitening products.

Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth Whitening Strips

Whitening Strips

These are small strips that you stick onto your teeth with a whitening agent already present. The strips are inexpensive though the downside is that because of their shape they may not apply evenly onto your teeth and in addition miss out on the back teeth. Teeth Whitening strips are a quick and convenient though there are other products that are more thorough.

Whitening Swabs

This is the cheapest of the teeth whitening products available on the market. Swabs have become increasingly popular not only because of their low price point but they are the most user friendly in terms of application and time. The swabs are dipped into a whitening solution and then applied over the surface of your teeth.  The solution itself can be anything from a homemade solution to more expensive bleaching agents. The down side with regard to swabs is that the whitening does not last as long as other methods and in addition can be uneven because the application is not as consistent.

Teeth Whitening Mouth Trays

Much like a mouth guard, whitening trays are designed to keep the whitening agent in place during the application. Cheaper versions will include a standard sized tray which you put the whitening agent into and then wear. The price range for these trays varies significantly from off the shelf products to custom molded trays made by your dentist. The problem with the cheaper versions is that they will never be a one size fits all solution so again some areas may miss out or receive uneven whitening.

Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser Teeth Whitening Light Treatments

This involves the combination of a whitening agent applied on to your teeth and exposure to a special light which activates the teeth whitening agent. This is one of the most expensive forms of professional teeth whitening treatments and results vary depending on the length of treatment. An advantage is that your teeth are whitened evenly and you are able to choose how white you want your teeth to be according to how many sessions you have. The effects last the longest amongst other methods and there are some home whitening kits available too though the results vary greatly with these. Aside from the above options and depending on your teeth there are also a number of other affordable cosmetic dentistry treatments available.

What Not To Do

Think of your teeth as white ceramic plates (the kind that you have your dinner on or what your coffee mug is made of). When your plates are clean the dirt washes off easily but when they are left out for a while then the dirt gets harder to wash off.

If you Smoke then the best thing that you can do for your teeth, skin, health and wallet is to stop. Nicotine and the other chemicals in cigarettes will discolour your teeth and also increase the risk of infection.

Try and minimise food and drink that will stain your teeth. Tea and coffee are the major culprits, not because they are overly colorful but because people drink them regularly. Foods containing lots of dye and other strongly color foods like turmeric and saffron shouldn’t be eaten too often.

The best thing to do is to brush your teeth directly after meals so that you don’t give the food and drink much time to stain your teeth. This is particularly important before bed as you are going to spend 8 or so hours with something to undo the work of your teeth whitening efforts. If you can’t brush your teeth directly after meals then at the very least rinse your mouth with water. This will help clear any loose food particles and colored/sugary liquids from your mouth.

Whitening teeth will almost always involve a form of bleach. Your newly whitened teeth will be more prone to stains so the first few days following your treatment be very careful about what you eat. Develop the right habits early and you will enjoy the benefit of a wonderful smile for years to come.


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