August 3, 2022
Your smile is one of the first things that people will notice about you, so it’s often in your best interest to have a white and bright set of pearly whites. But for those who aren’t satisfied with the shade of their teeth, several teeth whitening options and methods exist. But how do you know which products are safe and effective for personal use? The fact is these products often can’t deliver on their promises to whiten your smile—but your dentist can! Keep reading to learn more about which whitening products you should avoid and the proper way to go about brightening your smile.
Teeth Whitening Products You Should Avoid
If you’ve recently walked down the personal care aisle at the grocery store, you probably noticed the countless number of oral hygiene products on display, with toothpastes, gels, and whitening strips lining the shelves as far as the eye can see. Here are some products that you should be mindful of:
- Whitening toothpastes – Very few dentists recommend using any type of whitening toothpastes because they have little to no effect. Although these products might have the right type of chemical composition, they aren’t in contact with your teeth long enough to be effective.
- Whitening strips – When using these products, you should be mindful of side effects like increased sensitivity or mouth sores on the gums. Custom whitening trays are often the better, more comfortable option compared to these strips.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Many dentists strongly advise against the myth of rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to whiten your smile, as it can potentially harm your soft mouth tissues.
- Natural whitening remedies – Some people swear by the effectiveness of at-home methods like lemon juice or activated charcoal; but many of these trends expose your teeth to high levels of acid erosion and/or enamel abrasion.
Why Professional Teeth Whitening Is the Answer
Your dentist is the expert on anything and everything relating to oral care—meaning that visiting them is absolutely the best option for having your teeth whitened. Although professional whitening is often more expensive than store-bought alternatives, you’re paying for lasting results that are delivered in a safe and effective manner. Most dentists typically offer in-office whitening, which is performed at their office with professional-grade equipment, or at-home whitening, in which your dentist sends you home with the means to whiten your teeth. Although both methods differ in how they’re executed, they can each noticeably whiten your smile by several shades.
Tips for Preserving Your Smile’s Luster
Regardless of the method used to whiten your smile, it then becomes a matter of preserving its sheen moving forward. Consider the following tips:
- Practice regular oral hygiene by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, in addition to flossing daily and using an antibacterial mouth rinse.
- Watch what you eat and drink—certain items like coffee, wine, berries and more contain tannins that will stain your teeth, even if they’ve been professionally whitened!
- Use a drinking straw to limit the amount of contact between your teeth and drinks that can stain them.
A whiter and brighter smile is possible, but you should be mindful of how you work towards it! Proper oral hygiene combined with professional care is frequently the safer and more effective approach.
About the Author
The team at New Image Dentistry is proud to serve patients and families in San Antonio under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Holland. Dr. Holland received his DDS from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and has taken countless hours of continuing education in a wide range of fields. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including teeth whitening. If you have any questions about how to whiten your smile or you’d like to schedule a visit, you can contact Dr. Holland through his practice’s website or by phone: (210) 804-1558.