I love having white teeth, you probably do or would too. I’m also fortunate… I have been blessed with white teeth, for the most part. I also take care of them so I know what, if anything, is staining them. I don’t whiten or bleach my teeth often, and when I do, it does not last very long. Unfortunately, having naturally white teeth is dependent on how your enamel has formed. Fortunately, there are options if you don’t have white teeth already. White teeth are very dependent on how you treat them when you’re eating and drinking.
EVERYTHING stains your teeth, and I mean EVERYTHING, well except milk and water… but let’s be honest, how many people think about that.There are SO MANY PRODUCTS that claim they are “healthy” or “non-damaging” to the tooth structure or surface while whitening. These ‘miracle products’ are not as nice as you would think. Unfortunately, if you want white teeth, you’re going to have to deal with a little sensitivity. I believe you can do it. Real talk, there is no such thing as “100% all natural/healthy/non-sensitivity” whitening products. They will either make your teeth sensitive or will not work. ALL WHITENING PRODUCTS damage your teeth in some way, either permanently or temporarily… Let me explain.
Charcoal: PERMANENTLY Breaks down enamel, and is irreversible damage
Baking soda: PERMANENTLY Breaks down enamel, same as charcoal, with less intense effect, long-term use will be irreversible damage
whitening gels: (peroxide derivative): TEMPORARILY weakens enamel
gels with light: (peroxide derivative): TEMPORARILY weakens enamelWhitening toothpaste: (baking soda/peroxide derivative): PERMANENTLY or temporarily weakens enamel
Lemon or strawberry: PERMANENTLY damages enamel through acid erosion
For me, whitening reminds me of dying my hair, which I do all the time. For some people, your hair can take numerous color changes with minimal damage, while others can only dye their hair twice and have irreversible damage that needs to be removed. The difference between dying your hair and using charcoal to clean your teeth? Your teeth cannot regrow. Once your enamel is gone, you have to have replacements such as crowns, veneers, implants, or bridges, depending on the situation.
The best way to prevent damage? preventing stains in the first place. Like I said before, anything with the exception of milk and water will stain your teeth, especially wine, coffee, tea, beets, and berries. With staining foods, I suggest not eating them for long periods of time. For example, when you decide you would like to have blue berries, blackberries, and rasberries, eat them, eat as many as you want! But don’t eat them sporatically for several hours throughout the day. the same goes for beets, or cherries, or anything else that may stain. As a rule of thumb, if something will stain a plain white shirt, it will stain your teeth.
Once you’re finished eating your deliciously staining foods use a simple warm water mouth rinse. The warm water will be gentle if you have any sensitivity, and it will help flush the color from your teeth. This is certainly the least expensive way to help keep those pearly whites shining.
Next, make sure to brush and floss approximately 20 minutes after consuming any foods. Thankfully beverages are much easier to clean off of the teeth, and a rinse is sufficient. I also recommend drinking EVERYTHING through a straw. I know this may feel odd, and unnecessary, but it works. I am an AVID wine and coffee drinker. Like every single day, without fail. I swear by drinking through a straw. This is also a very simple and fairly inexpensive way to keep those stains at bay.
Finally, the last recommendation I have would be to deal with the sensitivity and whiten. Whitening is not always ridiculously expensive like in professional products. In my dental office, I always recommend my patients to use Crest whitening strips.
Crest whitening utilizes Carbamide Peroxide (a hydrogen peroxide compound) to whiten. The difference between Crest white strips, and professional whitening is a concentration. Most over the counter white strip options are around 5-6% concentration. Professional whitening ranges from 10-40% concentration.
Crest white strips are great because they have various options, for example if you’d like to have white teeth in a relatively short amount of time, I recommend the white strips that are a ‘7 treatments’ or seven days. There are other options that are anywhere from 14- 30 days, or treatments. Crest also offers ‘express’ whitening. I personally have not used these, but again they have the same main ingredent, Carbamide peroxide.
Although its choosing one evil over the other, I suggest using temporarily damaging products, which I know does not sound awesome. Either way, If you’re whitening, you’re damaging. My best suggestion for preventing damage and keeping sparkly whites would be avoid stains in the first place.
Hopefully, this information and all of these recommendations can help! As always, If you have any questions, or concerns don’t be afraid to post a comment or send an email! I am always happy to answer your burning dental questions. Have a great day, and don’t forget to smile today!