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7 Teeth Whitening Tips to Brighten Your Smile

It's easy and affordable to brighten your smile a shade or two from the comfort of your home.

Following these teeth whitening tips, will help you have a whiter smile with very little discomfort.

1. Brush and Floss

Make sure your teeth are squeaky clean before applying your tooth whitening product.

2. Dry Your Teeth

Wipe your teeth with a tissue or paper towel to remove excess saliva before applying teeth whitening strips or gel.

3. Be Consistent

The best results come from consistent use of the product. Even the best products don't work if you are hit and miss.

4. Avoid Staining Liquids and Foods

Avoid dark foods and liquids during your use of whitening strips and for a day or two after.

Some staining liquids are coffee, tea, red wine, dark sodas or sports drinks. Just drink more water...it's good for you :)

If you miss your coffee or tea way too much, drink it with a straw.

5. Consult Your Dentist

 if you have fillings or crowns that are visible when you smile, teeth whitening may not be a good idea for you.  Fillings and crowns will not whiten only your natural tooth surface will get whiter.  If you have fillings and crowns that match your current tooth color they may not match after tooth whitening.  Your dentist can help you decide if whitening is right for you.

Don't overdo it

6. Follow Instructions

Teeth whitening products are not all the same. Some are much stronger and should only be left on your teeth for the recommended time.  Read and follow written instructions.

7. Watch your Gums

Even the best home products allow some whitening gel to get on your gums. Be sure to wipe any excess gel off your gums and check for gum irritation.

Gums that are irritated from whitening products turn white. Gum irritation may look like a tissue burn but will clear up if you take a day or two off from whitening and give your gums a break.  


How to manage  pain or discomfort

Decrease the time and frequency of your teeth whitening applications.  Tooth or gum pain should only last a day or two. Consult your dentist for pain that lasts longer.

For gum pain ~ Vitamin E oil works great for gum irritation from whitening products.  Vitamin E comes in small capsules.  Just make a hole in the capsule and squeeze a drop of oil on your gums.  You may need to re-apply a few times. Vitamin E oil will make your gum soreness clear up quickly.

For tooth pain ~ Rinse with warm milk after you have finished whitening. Milk will decrease your tooth sensitivity and re-mineralize (or reseal) your enamel.  In addition, Tylenol or Advil can be taken as needed for tooth sensitivity or zingers (a common name for the pain that sometimes occurs after whitening).

Home teeth whitening works best for mild or moderate teeth discoloration.

Now that you have beautiful teeth, keep your gums just as beautiful by brushing and flossing everyday.

Gums are often forgotten, but are just as important for improving your appearance.

Click here for more about how to care for your gums...prevent gum disease. 

Next ~ Compare the cost and effectiveness of teeth whitening methods 

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