Admit it, wherever you look, on TV, in movies, in commercials, everyone has the “Hollywood” white smile. Our society has taught us to believe that white teeth equal health and prosperity; it conveys confidence and beauty. But, doing a 30-minute whitening touch-up for your teeth frequently isn’t necessarily great for your teeth. Here are a few facts that you probably don’t know about teeth whitening.
Keeping Your Teeth White is an Ongoing Process
Even if you had a professional whitening session at the dentist, about 2-3 months later, your teeth won’t appear as white. As you eat and drink, your teeth gradually trap stain. Overtime, the results from the whitening session will start to fade and you will need a touch up. Keeping your smile as bright as possible requires regular maintenance for sustainable results.
You Don’t Have to Avoid Wine or Coffee
Many sources will tell you to avoid red wine or coffee or dark staining foods such as curry or jerk seasonings. However, living a deprived life isn’t really living. You do not have to have a limited diet to preserve your smile. Or course, these foods cause your teeth to stain faster, however, if you have a regular teeth whitening routine, you are free to eat and drink whatever you please.
Keep a Regular Whitening Routine such as a Whitening Pen
The easiest way to keep a white smile is with a whitening pen. The gels in the pen usually react with your saliva to release the active ingredient. They are easy to carry around and use on the go, and they don’t expose your teeth to unnaturally high amount of bleaching gel uninterrupted and are safe for the gum tissues. Though not popular as of yet, our prediction is this method will be the method of choice soon enough.
Have you ever watched an older movie only to notice that the stars don’t have a white smile. Bright smiles just recently became popular in the mainstream. However it is completely natural for your teeth to appear yellow. As we age, the outer layer of tooth structure, enamel, becomes thinner. Enamel has no color and is translucent. The enamel reflects the color of the underlying layer, the dentin. As the enamel becomes thinner, the color of the dentin becomes more visible. Our dentin is naturally yellow, and overtime traps stain, thus resulting in teeth appearing more yellow. Many years ago, individuals didn’t have whitening gels to remove stain from the dentin. So if you look at older pictures or older movies, smiles were naturally yellow.
When Whitening, use a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Most toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain potassium nitrate. The potassium nitrate is infiltrates the enamel and creates mineral deposits within the pores of the enamel to physically prevent sensitivity.
Whichever whitening method you choose to use, remember to maintain a regular routine of whitening maintenance to preserve your results.
Save My Smile Team
Did you know that there are different techniques for brushing your teeth? And yes, they even have their own names.
There is the Bass method, Charter’s method, Modified Bass techinique, Modified Stillman method, etc. The most popular and most recommended is the Bass method.
Bass Method Step by Step Directions
Step-by-step directions are offered below:
- Start by placing the toothbrush bristles at a 45 degree angle on the front surface of the back teeth. Move the toothbrush in small circular motions. Make sure that you brush the tooth and especially the area where the tooth meets the gums.
- With this circular motion, slowly move forward towards the front teeth. Don’t rush!! Be sure to take your time and clean off all food debris and plaque. If you are having the problems with the brush fitting in your mouth, angle it vertically and continue to brush at a 45 degree angle the front surface and gum line.
- Continue to move around the arch and cover the back teeth on the opposite side.
- Repeat these steps with the back of the teeth as well (the side of the teeth that is closest to the tongue)
- Next, place the toothbrush bristles on the chewing surfaces of the teeth (known in the dental world as the occlusal surface).
- Move the toothbrush back in forth in a “scrubbing motion”. Be sure to brush the chewing surfaces of all teeth, even the front teeth.
- Rinse your toothbrush, place on tongue, and gently run the bristles over your tongue. The tongue can also harbor bacteria and cavity causing germs and must be cleaned as well.
Remember, a beautiful smile leaves a lasting impression.
Oh the dreaded floss. We all know that we need to do it…everyday that is. So why don’t most people floss? It is a time-consuming task; however the benefits of flossing are MORE than worth the additional five minutes it takes to complete the tedious task.
So why floss your teeth?
- Mouthwash and a toothbrush can’t reach every surface of your teeth! Flossing removes the food buildup and bacteria that is located between your teeth.
- Most cavities arise from bacteria located between the teeth – This area is often overlooked. Many feel that if they can’t see it, then it isn’t a problem. However, if given the chance, microscopic bacteria can and will accumulate and begin the demineralization process of enamel slowly leading to cavities, pain, and bacterial invasion.
- You don’t want bleeding gums do you? – Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation! If you don’t floss regularly, you can expect some minor bleeding when you start out. But don’t quit. Bleeding gums indicates gingivitis, and even worse periodontitis. If severe enough, this will lead to recession of the gums and loose teeth. Flossing removes irritating bacteria from being allowed to infiltrate your gums and cause infection.
Proper steps to flossing
- Start off with a long strand of floss (around 15 inches or so) and wrap it around each middle finger
- Use your index finger to guide the floss between your teeth
- Once the strand of floss is between your teeth, follow the curvature of each tooth in an up and down motion about 2-3 times. Don’t be afraid to push the floss under the gums, this is a critical area that needs to be cleaned.
- Remove floss and repeat with each tooth, making sure to use a clean section of the floss each time.
How often should I floss?
It’s best to floss a minimum of once a day
I tried to floss and my gums started bleeding, should I stop? Is something wrong?
Do not stop. This is a sign of inflammation and indicates that you haven’t flossed in awhile. Continue to floss everyday and the bleeding will stop.
Have more questions? Feel free to leave a commit or submit a question to be included in our FAQ’s.
Does your toothbrush look like the picture below? If so, it’s about time for a new one.
How often should I change my toothbrush?
- Preferably every 3-4 months
- When the bristles are worn out
- After any type of illness including a cold, flu, mouth sore, etc
Why should I change my toothbrush that often?
Toothbrushes are harbors for bacteria. If not cleaned effectively, microscopic bacteria can reside in your toothbrush. Also, after time and after several uses, toothbrushes lose their effectiveness. Once the bristles begin to wear down, they are not as efficient at cleaning plaque and removing food and other debris from your teeth.
Additional toothbrush tips
- Be sure to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with warm tap water after each use to effectively clean it
- Let your toothbrush air dry after each use. Do not store it in a travel case (unless you are traveling of course).
- Also, be sure to use soft or medium bristles. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles can actually do more harm than good!!! Toothbrushes with hard bristles are only meant for denture or removable appliances only.
So, remember to pick up that new toothbrush at your next trip to the store and let’s start new with maintaining your oral health!