A smile that gleams, that lights up your face and the room.
And you can get it.
Teeth whitening may be the only thing standing between you and that bright, white smile you desire. Luckily, there are plenty of options available today.
Your first stop may be partaking the offerings of the drug store i.e. whitening strips. If that gets you results, great. Mission accomplished.
If that doesn’t quite do the trick, head over to your dentist’s office for the next level of whitening pizazz.
From your dentist, the take-home kit is (in my opinion) THE way to go. It includes trays made to fit your teeth that you keep for good, and enough whitening gel to get started plus a few touch ups. For the money, it’s the best bang for your whitening buck.
This option is truly individual, and can be used as much or as little as needed to get the result to you want.
Once you get home and get into DIY mode, however, following through the process can be confusing.
So, to avoid getting a bald spot from scratching your head (pass the Rogaine), here are some tips to help make it a comfortable, convenient and easy experience:
1. The best time to whiten your teeth . . .
. . . is right after you get your teeth cleaned professionally (cuz your 15 seconds at home isn’t “professional”). It’s not critical, but this is when your teeth are their squeakiest clean, with all external stains scrubbed off.
2. The all-important PREP
Before you start whitening, start brushing your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity. This prepares your teeth for whitening and keeps sensitivity ‘zings’ to a minimum. Continue using it during and a few days after you’re done.
3. Follow the instructions
Your dentist will go over some do’s and don’ts regarding how long to wear your trays and for how many days. Different brands means times can vary. This is simple, but easy to forget.
4. Less vs. more
Many people make the mistake of using too much gel in their trays. Result: waste of gel and more sensitivity. Only use a pea-size amount, primarily for your front 8 teeth (top and bottom). Most people don’t show any more when they smile (unless you’re Julia Roberts), so whitening your molars waaay back there is unnecessary.
5. Keep ’em clean
Remember to keep up with flossing, and preferably brush with an electric toothbrush, which minimizes surface stains. And don’t forget to brush the inside of your trays to keep them clean. If they get gunky, they’ll smell funky. Eww.
6. Keep ’em cool
When not in use, put the gel and trays together in a plastic baggy in the fridge. This helps prolongs the shelf life of the gel, and keeping everything together prevents them from getting misplaced (yes, that happens more than you might think).
7. Don’t fall for the hype
No matter how easy the TV commercials make it look, whitening is not a one time deal. Maintenance, i.e., “touch ups” are needed periodically to keep your pearly whites gleaming. Over time food and drink can dull your teeth, so stay on a regular schedule (once a month or few months, depending on how white you want your teeth). It’s like working out-you have to keep doing it to get the results you want.
These simple yet often overlooked details can make a big difference, making a messy and cumbersome process into one that’s easy and comfortable enough to repeat as and when needed.
As far as I can see, a whiter smile is the easiest way to add some bling to yourself. What’re you waiting for?
Questions? Comments? Or are you ready to start? Call or email us at:
(214) 522-3110 www.raodentistry.com