How to Whiten Your Teeth

Thinking about whitening your teeth? You’ve come to the right place!  

In this blog we cover:

  • Whitening options available
  • Pros and cons of each treatment
  • What is the best whitening method

Your smile is an important part of who you are. Stained and discolored teeth can be frustrating to deal with. Fortunately, there are several teeth whitening methods available. The two general ways are:

  1. Over-the-counter treatments from grocery stores
  2. Customized teeth whitening kits from your dentist that you can take home

Over-the-counter products contain less concentrated materials than what a dentist could prescribe. This means that you will be using these products longer and more frequently to achieve noticeable results. And these results won’t last as long either.

The whitening treatments dentists use and prescribe are more concentrated and are designed to deliver quick and long lasting white teeth. There are two ways for teeth whitening at the dentist, in chair treatment or take home treatment kits.

At Polished Dental we provide customized treatment packs to take home. To start the process we will have to take an impression using special putty to make whitening trays that perfectly fit all of your teeth. These will be made by a technician, so a second visit is required. In your customized treatment kit you will receive your personalized trays and whitening gel. The gel isn’t like any other product you find over-the-counter, it has high concentrations of whitening solution and will require refrigeration. The whitening process is easy, spread the gel onto the trays and fit the trays up over your teeth and leave on for about 30-50 minutes time. The kit will contain enough gel to perform a number of treatments, so you can obtain your whitening goal.

Over the counterPersonalised Take Home Kit

Pros

Cheap.Economical.
Long lasting and quick results.
Safety and Quality assured.

Cons

Might take longer to see results.
Dental treatment may be overlooked.
Product may not be the right fit for you.
Involves a number of treatments.

The best whitening method

The best way we can recommend to whitening your teeth is to see your dentist. This is the safest and most effective option available to you to achieve the goals you desire.

A dentist will take your oral health into consideration prior to commencing any teeth whitening procedures. They will determine the causes for the discoloration, it could be the result of decay or other underlying issues. In those cases over-the-counter products will be ineffective, and would probably cause more damage and pain unnecessarily. You could avoid this trouble by having a full picture of your oral health before starting off on any whitening treatment.

Charcoal toothpaste, Banana Skins & More

The great thing about the internet is that it is now easier than ever to access information and tips, but it’s also easier to come across incorrect or misinformation on new products such as charcoal toothpaste.

So we thought we’d have a Q&A session with our dentists to see what their thoughts on some recent dental trends are:

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste has started hitting the shelves in the last few years and promises to get rid of stubborn long lasting stains. They look very interesting as they come as a black gel – completely opposite to the white toothpastes we’ve become accustom to.

Dr. Andrew

Charcoal toothpastes claim to whiten teeth using charcoal to polish away staining. This may be true – but it likely isn’t any more effective than traditional whitening toothpastes. Many whitening toothpastes contain an abrasive intended to lightly polish away superficial stains and charcoal does the exact same thing. The only difference would be charcoal is black and traditional whitening toothpastes use white silica (sand).  A possible drawback to be wary of is that the black charcoal may get underneath leaky fillings and fine divets of teeth to leave extra staining.  Also many charcoal toothpastes contain fluoride which can act as a sort of insurance against tooth decay so users may have to be more diligent with brushing.

Charcoal toothpaste are not harmful but they need to be used with care if they are used instead of traditional fluoride containing toothpastes. If patients wish to use it, we recommend using it together with, not instead of, traditional toothpastes.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can be done with coconut oil. A small amount is used to rinse around the mouth to draw or pull bacteria away from teeth to stop decay.

Dr. Montana

Oil pulling may play a part in mechanically reducing the amount of bacteria around teeth and gums as swishing around liquids or brushing teeth will disrupt bacteria colonies. By far and away the most effective way is to disrupt bacteria in your mouth is to brush and floss as the toothbrush bristles are very effective at breaking up the colonies. If patients wish to oil pull, we recommend still brushing and flossing your teeth to make sure you don’t expose yourself to a higher rate of tooth decay.

Charcoal Toothpaste or Banana Skins to Whiten TeethUsing banana peels to whiten your teeth

Using the inside of a ripe banana peel to rub against your teeth to leave them whiter.

Dr. Sang

Banana peels contain a high amount of potassium and can be a mild abrasive. Just like any abrasive found in toothpaste, the banana peel when rubbed against teeth can hence rub off superficial stains. It would take a fair few times to get any whitening result. If using banana skins doesn’t tickle your fancy, using a traditional whitening toothpaste may get the same result. As the others have mentioned I certainly wouldn’t be using banana skin whitening instead of regular brushing or flossing!

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Naughty or Nice – Impact of Food and Drinks on Dental Health

Can you guess which of these foods are naughty or nice?

 Although some may seems obvious, some of these foods are sneakily a lot worse than the usual suspects. Which ones can you get right?

Naughty or Nice? – Food and Dental Health!

Dairy 

Most dairy is also quite good for you but milk is quite sugary to begin with so there is a ‘naughty’ option here – can you guess which one?

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Plain milk
  • Flavoured milk (BAD these have very high amounts of sugar and as a general rule we advise avoiding flavoured milk in your diet).

 Vegetables and Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are generally quite good for your teeth but there’s one big exception – do you know which one it is?

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruit (Oranges, Lemon, Lime) (BAD – these citrus fruits are highly acidic and will increase erosion and wear on your teeth).

Teas

These seem like they’re probably bad for your teeth, right? Well, not necessarily. They can be naughty or nice. Green and black teas contain polyphenols which can kill/hold back bacteria. You can also get fluoride from your tea depending on your local water supply…

  • Black and green tea
  • Be wary of staining if you drink too much tea/caffeine.

Chips

Seems like the salt and fat would be worse for your body rather than your teeth, but that can be misleading:

  • Potato  Crisps (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • Corn chips (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • One of the main causes of tooth decay as not as obvious as sugars. Even though the crisps aren’t sweet, they do get broken down into sugars.

 Medications

  • Asthma puffers decrease saliva flow so be careful with these.

Chewing gum

Since it helps create saliva it should be good, but a lot of gum on the market has sugar added to it, causing the same old problems for your teeth:

  • Sugarfree extra
  • Sugar gum (BAD – too sugary)
  • PK (BAD – too sugary)
  • Hubba bubba (BAD – too sugary)

Food and dental health – What Next?

Here are a few things to remember if you are going to eat sugary foods :

  • Eat them with a meal. Your increased saliva will reduce the acidity of the sugar.
  • Drink more water, preferably with fluoride in it (if you’re buying bottled water check the label to see if fluoride is included)
  • Brush twice daily, after meals.
  • Floss once daily.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you down at Polished Dental for your next checkup! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about sugar and its impact on teeth, or want to come up with a plan to try and minimise the sugar you’re consuming.