Did you know smiling is an instant way to improve your mood and the mood of those around you? And brightening your teeth may make you more apt to smile. At University Oaks Dental office, we’re happy to share all the ways you can get and maintain whiter teeth and bring more joy to the world.

A bit about teeth whitening

Teeth whitening may be one of the simplest and most popular ways to improve the look and color of your teeth. However, teeth whitening may not be able to fix all discolorations. Most teeth whitening products brighten surface stains, which are usually yellow and brown. If your stains are below your enamel, usually blue or gray, teeth whitening may not be effective.

If you’re not sure about the type of stains you have on your teeth, visit us at University Oaks Dental for some help.

Whitening that smile

When it comes to brightening your smile, you have many options, including things you can do at home and treatments and products available at our office. If you’re not sure what method is best for you, let us know, and we can offer suggestions that fit your personal aesthetic and oral health needs.

Keep up your routine

If you’re concerned about the brightness of your smile, the most important thing to do is brush and floss daily and come in for your regular cleanings. Keeping your teeth clean not only removes stains immediately but also any sticky plaque. When you don’t brush, floss, or visit us regularly for dental cleanings, plaque can build up and turn into tartar, which is a hard, yellow substance that can dull your smile.

Try at-home whitening products

If you’re not satisfied with the color of your teeth, at-home whitening agents may help. These include whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter dental bleaching agents.

There are two types of whitening toothpastes — ones that remove stains and ones that bleach your teeth. The stain-removing toothpastes contain additional polishing agents, so they’re more effective at getting rid of surface stains than traditional toothpastes. The bleaching toothpastes contain a mild bleaching agent to help brighten your teeth.

Other over-the-counter bleaching products include whitening strips and gels. Like the bleaching toothpaste, these products contain a mild bleaching agent to whiten your teeth.

When shopping at the store for teeth whitening products, look for toothpaste and other products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re getting a safe and effective product.

Professional whitening products

While at-home products are convenient, they aren’t able to brighten your teeth as much as we can at the office. The system we use at University Oaks Dental can make your teeth 10 shades whiter in about an hour. We use a very safe, but strong, bleaching agent. We also provide gum protection and closely monitor you during the procedure in case you experience any sensitivity

In addition to teeth whitening at the office, we also offer professional dental whitening products you can do at home. This product requires us to take a mold of your teeth so we can create custom-made trays that closely hug your teeth to optimize whitening. We give you a special professional-strength bleaching agent to use in the trays.

Maintaining brightness

Now that your teeth are white and bright, you want to take steps to help maintain whiteness. Following these suggestions may help you keep your movie star smile for a year or longer.

Keep your teeth clean

Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to see us for dental cleanings are the first and most important steps to take for keeping your teeth bright.

Avoid stain-causing foods

Avoiding or limiting your intake of stain-causing foods and drinks is also recommended, including:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Cola
  • Red wine
  • Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Tomato sauce and curry

Using a straw when drinking stain-causing liquids may help keep them off your teeth. Brushing after eating might also reduce the occurrence of stains.

Tobacco smoke also stains both your teeth and tongue. We recommend quitting, not only so your teeth stay brighter, but also to reduce your risk of gum disease, oral and lung cancer, and heart disease.

Continue using at-home products

At University Oaks Dental we offer a White for Life program. If we whiten your teeth and you continue to come in for your regularly scheduled cleanings, we provide you with professional-strength whitening gel at each visit.

If you run out of gel, teeth whitening toothpaste or strips might also help you maintain your stunning smile.

For more information about teeth whitening, call our office or book an appointment online.