There’s no escaping the fact that teeth whitening is big business. Fuelled by social media influencers, celebrities, and cosmetic makeover shows like ‘Look Younger in 10 Days’, Australians are seemingly obsessed with whiter teeth and a more attractive smile.
The surging popularity of teeth whitening, caused the Australian Dental Association (ADA) to further research teeth whitening back in 2018. The results revealed many hidden dangers of home remedy teeth whitening, which brings us nicely to the point of this article – how to get white teeth without damaging them.
Not all teeth whitening methods are created equal
Although teeth whitening can be safe and effective, excessive use and a poor choice of products can cause permanent damage, such as
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum irritation
- Loss of protective enamel
For instance, a loss of tooth enamel can cause teeth to become sensitive and appear darker in colour. To avoid any potential risks of teeth whitening, here are some points to know about whitening teeth safely at home and when to visit a dentist for a professional whitening treatment.
DIY and other teeth whitening methods to try at home
There are many home remedies for whitening teeth, although some are safer and more effective than others. If you’re wondering how to get white teeth without damaging them, here are some things to try.
- Bicarbonate of soda – While some may argue that bicarbonate of soda is too abrasive to use on teeth, provided you brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush, it can help remove surface stains.
- Whitening toothpaste – Because these products contain low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, they can lighten the teeth by one or two shades. However, it may take a long time to see the results. Whitening toothpaste by its nature is abrasive and, over time, can result in enamel erosion.
- Whitening strips – These flexible strips contain a bleaching agent and mould to the shape of your teeth. However, unless you have perfectly aligned teeth, the strips may not touch each tooth, resulting in uneven teeth whitening.
Natural teeth whitening remedies to avoid
Just because a remedy contains natural products, it doesn’t mean that it’s harmless. Several natural products associated with teeth whitening can permanently damage tooth enamel. For instance:
- Lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda – lemon juice is very acidic, and while it will lighten your teeth, you should know that it may also erode your tooth enamel.
- Strawberries – Applying strawberries to teeth may make them appear whiter, but citric acid in them can also accelerate the demineralisation of teeth.
How to get white teeth with the help of your dentist?
Professional teeth whitening services provide speedy results and achieve whiter teeth without damaging them. Typically, patients can take one of two routes.
Chairside teeth whitening
Supervised by a dentist, chairside teeth whitening is an ideal choice for those looking for an instantly whiter smile. Dramatic, long-lasting results are achieved, often in less than an hour.
It’s vital, however, to stick to a ‘white’ diet for 24 hours following teeth whitening to avoid re-staining.
At-home teeth whitening kits
Custom trays supplied by your dentist are filled with whitening gel and worn over the teeth for a few hours during the day or overnight while you sleep. Results are usually noticeable within 14 days, and most people’s teeth will lighten by at least 2 or 3 shades.
At-home whitening trays are a more affordable option than in-chair whitening. Trays can last for several years provided stain-inducing foods and beverages are limited.
How to keep your teeth white with a good oral hygiene routine?
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing between your teeth will help strengthen the tooth enamel, remove surface stains, and keep teeth clean and healthy. Brush your teeth for two minutes once a day and before bed.
Regular dental check-ups and cleaning enable a dentist to monitor your oral health and remove any hardened plaque from teeth before it becomes a problem. Some people find that regular dental check-ups negate the need for teeth whitening.
If you are considering teeth whitening, it’s always best to visit your dentist first. They will examine your teeth and gums beforehand to determine if you have a healthy mouth and are suitable for cosmetic treatment.
If there are any signs of tooth decay, cavities, or gum disease, these will need addressing before teeth whitening can commence. Remember, professional teeth whitening products are allowed to contain higher levels of the bleaching agent, which practically guarantees better results than you can achieve by yourself at home.
If your teeth fail to respond to teeth whitening, a dentist can suggest alternative methods to get white teeth, such as composite bonding or dental veneers.
So now you know how to get white teeth, why not schedule an appointment with the friendly dental team at Southport Park Family Dental.
We provide in-chair teeth whitening and custom take-home whitening trays with Polar Office Plus and Opalescence Boost.
Our dentist will be happy to discuss your best options according to your dental needs, lifestyle and budget. Call us today on (07) 5655 7688 or use our online booking service and take the first step to a whiter, brighter smile.