A smile — whether it’s a toothy grin or something more subtle — is one of the first things we notice about someone. It projects friendliness, openness, and authenticity. But what if your pearly whites aren’t so pearly these days? A smile that’s yellowed or discolored can leave you feeling self-conscious and undermine the impression you leave on people you meet. If you’re looking for a boost of confidence and a way to leave an indelible positive impression, start with these tips for a whiter smile from Chicago’s Smile On Dental Salon.
Start at the Source
Start with what’s causing your teeth to be discolored in the first place. There are actually two types of tooth staining.
Intrinsic stains cause your teeth to look brown, gray, or black. They’re called “intrinsic” because they take place deep below the surface. Damage to the structures of the teeth, including from dead nerves, chips and cracks in the enamel, and even the side-effects of certain medications, cause these stains.
Surface stains are the ones most of us think of. They cause teeth to yellow, and they’re usually caused by what we ingest on a daily basis. If you like a glass of red wine with dinner, if you’re a coffee drinker, or if you smoke, you’ve probably noticed tooth yellowing. Soft drinks, acidic foods, and many “cleanses” will also cause staining. Stains can also come from healthier habits; the antioxidant fruits in your smoothie aren’t doing your teeth any favors either.
You should be brushing at least twice a day. If you have sensitive teeth, you may be shying away from your toothbrush along with anything that’s too hot or too cold. There are toothpastes formulated especially for sensitive teeth that will help with this sensitivity, but you have to be diligent in their use.
Home Tooth Whitening Products
Many toothpaste brands also contain bleaching and whitening agents, often combining them with ingredients that help with tooth sensitivity, gum health, and fresher breath. Whitening toothpaste can be used in tandem with, or independent of, a range of products that includes whitening strips, bleaching trays, and other tooth bleaches.
Smile On Dental Salon uses a somewhat different tooth whitening process that starts with a deep cleaning. From there, we offer Zoom in-office whitening. Zoom Whitening involves protecting the gums and soft tissue and then applying a concentrated peroxide solution to the teeth. That solution is activated by UV light, resulting in deeper whitening than many other solutions. The procedure takes about 45 minutes. Afterward, you’ll be sent home with a custom-fitted touch-up kit.
We also offer an at-home whitening option that’s worn for an hour per day for about two weeks. It relies on whitening trays that are customized from impressions taken by your dentist.
The other approaches listed above can also be used as maintenance after professional tooth whitening.
Remember that white teeth should also be strong teeth. Regular dental care ensures that you’re working from a sound foundation of healthy teeth and gums. Just as dental care takes care of your whole smile, it also helps with your overall health. Good teeth start with, and also reinforce, better diet. Gum health is directly related to circulatory health. So you’re taking care of your whole body, and that’s something to smile about.
Side Effects of Tooth Whitening
Side effects from tooth whitening treatments are limited, but they do exist. Gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, and irritation of surrounding mouth tissue are the most common side effects. If you notice these, speak to your dentist.
Whether you need a routine checkup, cleaning, tooth whitening, or Invisalign, contact Smile On Dental Salon in Chicago. We’re located at 1350 W. Belmont Ave. #1 in Chicago, or you can call 773-570-1630 for an appointment.