Health & Wellness Articles

Tips for a Brighter, Whiter Smile

Preventing Stains & Whitening Teeth

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Professional Whitening
If you would like faster or more dramatic results, a professional whitening session at the dentist’s office is in order. Your dentist will use a higher concentration of peroxide and may increase the effectiveness of the process by augmenting the bleaching action with a special light or laser. Dramatic whitening can be achieved in about an hour using this technique, but it can cost several hundred dollars. All professional whiteners with the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain 35 percent hydrogen peroxide.

General Tips for a Brighter Smile
The best way to remove surface stains is to start with a professional cleaning at the dentist’s office. Once you’ve got a clean slate, you can maintain your brighter smile by:
  • Brushing and flossing daily. Regular dental care will remove plaque before it can accumulate and attract stains.
  • Getting teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Tartar buildup tends to stain easily and is very noticeable.
  • Not smoking. Smoking is a major cause of yellow stains on the teeth. It can also damage your gums.
  • Carefully choosing your beverages. Coffee, tea and cola are prime culprits. Limit your consumption to one or two servings per day and brush immediately afterwards.
  • Using a straw. Sip cola, juice and iced tea through a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

    Thank you for being so thorough in this article! I hadn't considered how teeth can become discolored from the interior as well as from exterior factors. Most of the teeth whitening treatments that you can do at home, or at the dentist, are very effective, but many people can have bad reactions to the harsh chemicals. This is why it is so important that you consult your dentist about the best way to remove stains.
    Daelin | http://www.northr
    dentistry.html - 7/2/2015 9:25:52 AM
    Using a straw is a great way to avoid damage and stains if you're set on having your coffee or soda. For me, I stopped drinking coffee for multiple reasons and I've just felt better overall since I quit. My teeth are looking much better as well! Thanks for the advice.

    - 6/5/2015 11:30:14 AM
  • NIMITA14
    Does natural ways of whitening really help? I had been doing it for over a month on a regular basis but didn't see any positive result. Then finally i had to see a Dentist Mumbai and treated there for whitening. Am glad as i can flaunt my smile unlike before after all it is the smile that tells about ones personality :) - 5/6/2015 7:49:20 AM
  • AREED78
    My teeth are so yellow, I don't even like to smile anymore. I want to get them whitened so that I can love my smile again. I'm thinking it will be easier to just go in and get them whitened, and then try to keep it up. http://www.afdent
    metic-dentistry-faq - 3/11/2015 5:01:15 PM
  • There is NOTHING more attractive than a perfect, white smile! Clean, pearly white teeth show that you like to take care of yourself, that you LOVE yourself! It is pretty much standard to have straight sparkling teeth now-a-days for us young people! - 1/22/2014 11:46:20 AM
    I read in an article about tips from our grandmothers that rubbing one's teeth with a sage leaf once per week can help to remove surface stains. I haven't bought any sage leaves lately, but I'd be willing to give it a try :) - 6/3/2011 5:55:12 AM
  • Crest White Strips work very well for me. My dentist admires how white my teeth are. I also brush w/ baking soda once a week or so to get my tea stains off. - 3/18/2011 5:45:41 PM
  • The tip about brushing your teeth after drinking soda, not a good idea! After drinking soda with all that acid, the worse thing you can do is brush your teeth. The abrasives in the toothpaste and the brushing will help remove the enamel of your teeth. You should wait at least an hour. Rinse with water immediately and wait to brush. - 9/19/2010 11:07:45 PM
  • Why do people think they have to have a mouth full of perfection? Some just look so artificial.
    Clean teeth and mouth are what's important. - 12/1/2008 8:48:05 PM
  • Remember, wealthy people get crowns on their teeth, so they look perfect and white. Rosie O'Donnell joked about having the price of a car in her mouth, because of all the crowns she had gotten, so she had perfect white teeth. - 3/17/2008 8:04:04 PM
  • I've found professionally made trays to be the best, safest and most comfortable. The laser method is tricky and can make your teeth an unnatural color. The store-bought strips and gels are good for minor staining, or for maintaining whiteness from another method. If your dentist makes a tray for you from a mold taken from your own teeth, the gel put into the mold gets into every angle and space in your teeth, while avoiding getting on your gums, so you don't end up with white teeth on red, irritated gums. The professional tray method is obviously more expensive than the store-bought method, but is less expensive than the laser. I have sensitive teeth, and now I also have a bright smile! - 2/5/2008 10:15:38 AM
  • Who told you that the whitening toothpastes work? If they did, there would be a lot more people walking around with white teeth. My hygienist told me that the whitening toothpastes are basically a waste of money, but that Crest Whitestrips (and products like that) aren't bad. So I tried Crest Whitestrips (the basic ones, not the really expensive ones) and I found that they really worked. - 2/4/2008 2:22:21 PM
  • My dentist was honest enough to tell me that my teeth would not "take" the whitening process, so I should save my money. My only option for whiter teeth is caps, but then I couldn't eat carrots or corn on the cob. - 1/19/2008 10:51:11 PM
  • When I was on a cruise I had them whiten my teeth. They put some stuff on and had me hold a special light on them for about 45 minutes but I didn't notice a difference. I wonder if it was the same strength as a regular dentist would use? - 1/18/2008 7:04:34 PM
  • My teeth were stained before they even came in by the asthma medication I took as a young child. I have two white spots on the front of my two front teeth that are my pride and joy, proof that I would have brilliant white teeth. I just want to say that NOTHING WORKS. I've tried it all, from the toothpaste to the professional whitening, no change! - 1/18/2008 3:37:06 PM

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