Ready to unlock the secret to a brighter smile? The Cobblestone Park Family Dental team has put together this guide as a resource for achieving whiter teeth. The journey to a brilliant white smile has a lot of great options, and we will explain many of our favorite ways to keep your teeth white.
However, first and most importantly, if you’re looking for an Oklahoma City dentist to help you with your oral health and teeth whitening, our team is here to help. Schedule an appointment for preventative care or a laser teeth whitening appointment today.
Oral Hygiene: A Foundation for Whiter Teeth
The fundamental practice of good oral hygiene is the first step to a brighter smile. Brushing and flossing are sometimes forgotten as the first step to a brighter smile. So, before we move on to more specific treatments, reviewing the basics of daily oral hygiene is the best place to start.
- Brushing At Least 2x Daily
Begin by selecting a toothbrush with soft bristles. Soft bristles will be gentle on your gums and still be able to remove debris from your teeth and gums. Brush for about two minutes each time, and ensure you brush every part of the surface of each tooth.
- Choose a Good Toothpaste
When choosing, opt for fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride has the dual benefit of cleaning and strengthening your enamel. You may want to choose a toothpaste with baking soda as a whitening agent. It is a mild abrasive, gently removing surface stains without compromising the integrity of your enamel. Or, you may want to choose a toothpaste with other whitening agents. Either way, look for a fluoride toothpaste that is ADA-approved.
- Floss Every Day
Additionally, flossing is an essential piece of daily oral hygiene. We’ve written previously about how flossing benefits gum health, but it also plays a part in keeping your teeth healthy. When you floss, it breaks up the food particles and plaque between your teeth. If you don’t floss, this debris can turn into tartar, which will cause discoloration of your teeth.
- Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental check-ups are essential because they offer a level of care that goes beyond what you can do at home. Because of their expertise and specialized tools, your dentist and hygienist can deep clean and ensure overall oral health. In your twice-annual cleanings, they can address tricky tartar or plaque that could cause discoloration.
Mouthwash After Brushing
Mouthwash is an effective way to ensure brushing and flossing remove plaque and food particles from your teeth and kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Often forgotten or underestimated, mouthwash is great for oral health because a simple swish allows the liquid to get into the gaps you may have missed when brushing.
Additionally, using a mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide over a few months can effectively whiten your teeth. Look for a mouthwash that is light in color and includes hydrogen peroxide in the active ingredients.
As you research teeth whitening techniques, you may come across the recommendation to begin oil pulling as a type of “mouthwash” after brushing. The practice includes swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil for 15-20 minutes to detoxify and remove bacteria naturally. Many people see positive results after consistent oil pulling, including less gum inflammation, whiter teeth, and less plaque buildup. However, it should not be used as a replacement for the daily oral hygiene outlined in the section above.
Nourish Your Smile Through Nutrition
Mindful consumption is another way to ensure bright smiles without discoloration. The dentists and dental hygienists at Cobblestone Park Family Dental in Oklahoma City know the impact of dietary choices on the color of your teeth. Dark-colored beverages such as coffee, tea, red wine, and certain foods like berries and tomato sauce can contribute to staining over time. However, the key lies in moderation and strategic choices.
Consuming crunchy fruits and vegetables after eating or drinking high-acidity, dark-colored foods and beverages can make a difference. Apples, carrots, and celery aren’t merely snacks; in a way, they are nature’s toothbrushes. The satisfying crunch satiates your snack cravings and acts as a natural scrub, preventing surface stains and promoting oral health.
Additionally, simply drinking water can help you achieve whiter teeth. Water is a natural cleanser, washing away food particles and preventing staining.
Over The Counter Whitening Gels, Toothpaste, and Strips
Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products, including gels, toothpaste, and strips, are readily available for those seeking to whiten their teeth proactively. They are widely available and, for many people, the first attempt at a brighter smile.
It’s essential to note that OTC teeth whitening products may not be suitable for everyone, and individuals with dental restorations, such as crowns or veneers, should not use OTC whitening methods without first talking to a dentist.
Benefits of OTC whitening products include:
- Convenient and easy to use
- Typically cost-effective
- Some products may show noticeable results after a few applications
Risks of OTC whitening products include:
- Potential for tooth sensitivity: These methods may cause increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Gum irritation: Some individuals may experience irritation to the gums if the whitening product comes into contact with them
- Uneven results: Achieving uniform whitening can be challenging, and some areas may appear whiter than others
- Abrasiveness: Some whitening toothpastes or gels can be abrasive, potentially causing enamel wear
Custom Fitted Whitening Trays or Take-Home Kits
Dentist-fitted whitening trays and professional take-home kits provide a dentist-led and customized approach to teeth whitening, and they are often a preferred choice for individuals seeking more predictable and controlled results.
Take Home Kits
Our take-home kits are professional-strength whitening strips that are placed on your teeth over an extended period of time, over multiple days to weeks, to brighten them. They lighten superficial stains and discoloration. Among our services, they are the most minimally invasive and provide the lowest degree of whitening.
Custom Take-Home Whitening Trays
Using impressions of your teeth, our dentists create a custom whitening tray. You’ll insert professional gel into the mold from the comfort of your home and place it on your teeth. You’ll repeat the process daily for a couple of weeks until the desired color is achieved.
At Cobblestone Park Family Dental, many of our patients choose this path for their cosmetic teeth whitening because of the professional, gradual, and custom approach to whitening.
In-Office Laser Teeth Whitening
Finally, our in-office Laser Whitening treatment is the most effective and efficient method for teeth whitening at Cobblestone Park. The treatment takes no more than an hour to complete, and the results are immediate. When you visit our OKC office, our team applies a gel to your teeth, and then a laser is applied to your teeth. The laser activates the gel to break up deep stains and discoloration.
The treatment lightens teeth by several shades and can be maintained by occasionally using at-home trays. Unlike over-the-counter whitening products, in-office laser whitening can effectively treat deep stains, including those caused by certain medications (e.g., antibiotics, tetracycline).
Find A Brighter Smile OKC
A brighter smile awaits you, OKC. Daily, routine oral hygiene is an essential first step and the key to maintenance, but many whitening methods exist. Each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, if you have stains or discoloration from food/drinks, smoking, aging, medication or antibiotics, or mouth trauma, our team would love to help you achieve a bright smile.
To learn more about teeth whitening and how it can help transform your smile and confidence, schedule a consultation with Cobblestone Park Family Dental today.