I just read an article in USA Today that caught my attention and I wanted to share some of the highlights. The article began by stating that a 2011 survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry showed that ‘teeth whitening is the number one requested cosmetic service.’ The author went on to write about how Americans spend a great deal of money each year on both in-office whitening administered by their dentists and over-the-counter products to whiten their teeth.
Later in the article, she made a statement that I would like to challenge. She stated, “there’s an easier, cheaper and natural approach (to teeth whitening): the right diet.” ‘You’re challenging someone who is advocating eating a proper diet?’ you might ask. Well, not the part about eating well. But my experience is that the foods she says will whiten your teeth will not get them whiter than they naturally are but will only help prevent stains from foods that will make and keep them dark.
The article advocates eating fruits and raw vegetables such as apples, green beans, cauliflower, celery, etc. to scrub the teeth. Also, it says that strawberries and oranges help to polish the teeth by offering an enzyme (malic acid) that keeps teeth whiter. Dairy foods are also beneficial by offering lactic acid to prevent decay. All of this is excellent advice which will help you maintain a proper diet, leading to an overall healthy body. Unfortunately, the amount of these foods that you would have to eat to get whiter teeth would make you ill well before your teeth got whiter.
The techniques and materials that I have available to make your teeth as white as you want are a much better choice. My methods more effective than the products you can purchase in your local grocery store or from TV/magazine ads. The active ingredient that is used in my in-office procedures is more concentrated and effective than in the over-the-counter products you can buy at the store. The old adage, “You get what you pay for”, is definitely at play here. The strips and gels you can buy yourself will cost less, but they will also not get your teeth as white and will not remain white as long as if you came to see me for your teeth whitening needs.
Lastly, let’s address the part of the article where it talks about things that stain the teeth. She is correct in stating that food and drink can be very bad at staining the teeth, making them much darker than their natural state. Here is a list of such items that can cause discoloration and stains: red wine, sodas, sports drinks, coffee, tea, blueberries, soy sauce, and the nicotine in cigars/cigarettes. The main concern I have with these things is not whether you partake in them, it is the amount in which you do. My hope is that you will be more cautious and consume these things in moderation. While avoiding all of these things is not practical, my helpful advice to prevent any further coloration would be to brush your teeth after meals containing any of the aforementioned items.
Remember, nothing is foolproof and everyone’s teeth have different characteristics that make whitening more or less effective. I would be happy to discuss your situation and offer suggestions that will help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.