Tips of the Trade from TRU Dentistry Austin on South Lamar, serving 78704
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Friends and family from all over are preparing to flock to Austin for food, memory-making, and quality time. Is your smile photo-ready?
Bright white teeth are the ultimate accessory this holiday season – illuminating your face with a healthy-looking glow. Why are whiter teeth so popular this time of the year? Check out the top three reasons below:
- A Brighter Smile in Photos. Between the improvement of the smartphone camera quality and social media providing a platform for photo-sharing, the little details in photos have become much easier to notice. If you’re not pleased with the “sparkle” of your teeth, a whitening treatment could be just what you need for a picture-perfect smile this holiday season.
- Confidently Take on the New Year. A smile is often one of the first things people notice. When your teeth are not at their best, it can not only hurt your confidence but also your self-esteem and desire to smile. Whitening your teeth can give you the extra boost to confidently flaunt your smile into the new year.
- Change Your Outlook for 2020. A whiter smile not only increases confidence, but it can also change your outlook in the new year. You’ll make great first impressions and come across as friendlier because you’ll want to smile more to show off your pearly whites. You’ll also be more likely to take care of your teeth since you’ll want the effects to last. And in some cases, a brighter smile can even help you to look younger.
While there are many benefits of a bright smile, if done wrong, your pearly whites and overall oral health can be at risk. To prepare you to take on the holiday season with confidence, South Lamar dentist, Samantha Hollinger, DMD of TRU Dentistry Austin discusses the Dos and Don’ts of teeth whitening.
DO: Get a checkup and teeth cleaning
Why? “Because you need to make sure you don’t have any cavities,” says Dr. Hollinger. “Teeth whitening with cavities can create a pain you don’t want to experience. Also, you need to have built up tartar and stains removed for the whitening to be fully effective.”
Other factors that you may not be aware of are that fillings and crowns won’t respond to the teeth whitening. Your dentist can regulate the amount of whitening to blend with your teeth that won’t be able to be lightened and/or give you the best options. In addition, teeth can become discolored for medical reasons and it’s important to have your dentist identify the causes of discoloration. All of this can help keep your teeth healthy and whiter longer.
DON’T: Use the latest whitening fad trending on social media
No matter how many gorgeous people you see using charcoal toothpaste and other products that temporarily turn your mouth black for a whiter smile, don’t do it. Just don’t.
“There was a time when people were blending strawberries with baking soda as a whitening solution,” recalls Dr. Hollinger. “That’s like pouring acid on your teeth and abrading them at the same time. It’s really dangerous.”
SUB-DON’T: Attempt to scrub away stains with abrasive stuff
Many whitening toothpastes and other remedies you see online contain abrasive ingredients, which can begin inflicting damage on your tooth enamel immediately. Your teeth can repair some mild damage, but once enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced or rebuilt, making teeth more vulnerable to decay and cavities, and extreme sensitivity.
DO: Find out what your dentist can do for you
There are many ways your dentist can help you brighten your smile, from customized take-home trays and whitening solutions to in-office treatments.
The main differences among the options are cost and time commitment. Take-home trays, fitted for your teeth, are a lower cost option that takes several weeks to show results because the whitening solution contains a lower concentration of bleaching agent.
In-office treatments like Boost and Zoom give same-day results in about an hour. Because of the higher concentration of bleaching chemical, the dentist applies a protective material to prevent burns to your gums and lips.
DON’T: Expect the same results at home
Whitening strips and other home whitening products have one major drawback in comparison to in-office treatments: the concentration of the active ingredient is much lower.
So, at-home solutions rely on a longer treatment period with a smaller amount of the whitening solution.
“The most effective home whitening products require that you leave the solution on your teeth for eight hours a day, for two to six weeks,” says Dr. Hollinger. “Many times, people stop using the product long before recommended for best results.”
DO: Practice proper maintenance between whitening
No teeth whitening lasts forever. Your daily routines can make a big difference in how long you can go between whitening. If you drink a lot of beverages that can stain teeth (red wine, coffee, tea, dark juices or sodas) or smoke, you’ll see staining reappear more quickly.
“I often recommend my patients use that brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse,” says Dr. Hollinger. “It’s only 1%, but it’s going to kill a lot of bacteria in your mouth and help maintain that bright whiteness between treatments.”
From the TRU Dentistry Austin team, we’re wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday season!
2708 South Lamar Boulevard, Suite 100A, Austin, TX 78704 | (737) 203-8538 | [email protected]