Over-the-counter or at home whitening kits and products generally have a low percentage of the main oxidizing ingredient (usually in the range of 2 to 6%). In the office, we use a much stronger controlled solution and usually add to this a high power blue or white plasma or laser light to hyper increase the oxidizing activity of the treatment. The difference is that the over-the-counter kits and products may, after many treatments, whiten your teeth 1 to 2 shades. Whereas, the in-office treatments will whiten the teeth 8 to 14 shades in about an hour’s time.
Everywhere we look now we see people with bright, luminescent smiles and teeth. Rarely do we see anyone with yellow, discolored teeth on TV anymore. So, what actually is teeth whitening, why is it so popular, and what kind of results can one expect? Basically, teeth whitening is a controlled oxygen bleaching of the tooth enamel. It works better on some than others and not everyone is a good candidate. It will not work on any fake teeth like porcelain veneers, ceramic implants, etc.
Avoid chewing pencils, pens and other hard objects. Your teeth were meant to chew food, not writing utensils. Pencils, pens and other things that don’t belong in your mouth can fracture teeth, leading to otherwise unnecessary repairs. If you feel the need to chew, its best to stick to sugarless gum.
Used properly, a toothpick can be a great tool to remove food from between your teeth when you don’t have floss handy. But, if you are aggressive with the toothpick, it may injure your gums or break off between your teeth. Be sure to use toothpicks gently, don’t chew on them, and it’s best to use the rounded ones, as they are less likely to damage your gums.
Although your teeth are strong, they’ll crack or chip with misuse. Here is a habit we’d love you to try to give up once and for all. Avoid using your teeth as a scissors. Many people use their teeth to cut through string, open packages, or remove tags from clothing. Of course, this is very bad for your teeth. In particular, if you use your teeth to remove those plastic “strings” that affix price tags to clothing, you might find yourself with a small divot in one of your teeth. This can lead to cracking and fracturing of the tooth later on. Always use scissors!
Teeth are for biting and chewing food, not for tearing packages open, pulling tags off new clothes, undoing knots or cracking nuts! We’ve all probably been guilty of using our teeth as a multi-purpose tool, but we should give our teeth much more respect.
Replace your toothbrush every month because bacteria will grow on your toothbrush over time. Also the bristles become ineffective and can even hurt the gums. Don’t forget, there is also bacteria on your tongue. Remember to brush your tongue or use a tongue cleaner/scraper. Dental floss is important to remove debris between your teeth, which can’t be reached by your toothbrush alone.
The best way avoiding tooth decay lies in establishing positive habits. It is especially important for all of us to learn that frequent teeth brushing and eating the right foods is important to maintain healthy white teeth. Bad teeth are usually caused by eating the wrong foods and not cleaning the teeth. A good habit to have, is to brush your teeth at least twice a day, but it is even better to brush after each meal.