If getting a pearly white smile is high on your to-do list, consider this essential reading.
Over at Gritty Pretty, we like our coffee strong, our sushi with extra soy sauce, and when we go for drinks, you bet we’re ordering pinot noir.
Over time, these colours build up, leaving our teeth a little stained which, you know, we’re not too fussed about every other day because Simon Cowell-white is fooling absolutely no one and way too hard to maintain given our aforementioned penchant for coloured foods.
But before an event, we like to restore our humble incisors back to their former glory. So if you’re hung-up on D.I.Y teeth whitening, whether you’re new to the experience or simply looking for ways to better your treatment, here’s a quick dos and don’ts of the basics.
For this, we’ve enlisted the sage advice of Sydney Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Angelo Lazaris, and some of our own team members, who, it turns out, are quite the at-home whitening aficionados – and they’ve got the great whites to prove it!
1. Make sure your teeth are free from plaque and calculus (hardened plaque). Dr.Lazaris recommends doing the whitening treatment after having your teeth thoroughly cleaned so the whitening gel can actually absorb into the tooth structure.
2.For the love of peroxide, store your whitening products out of direct sunlight and warmth or else they can lose their potency.
3. Follow the instructions. “Whitening efficiency depends on contact time with the teeth so you can’t rush it,” urges Dr. Lazaris. However, if you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity, give your mouth a good rinse with tepid water and give it a break for a few days. If the pain continues, seek out professional advice.
4. After your at-home teeth whitening treatment, follow up with a whitening toothpaste. “I see a big difference when I’ve whitened my teeth and use Colgate Advanced Whitening + Tartar Control – the one in the gold packet,” says one Gritty Pretty staffer. If you’re experiencing sensitivity post-whitening, also try: Sensodyne Gentle Whitening Toothpaste.
1. Avoid drinking or eating intensely coloured substances. “Whitening treatments make teeth porous and in the short term so they’ll absorb stains,” advises Dr. Lazaris. OneGritty Pretty guru says, “If you have to drink coffee, make sure you rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and carry a bottle around with. Keep drinking water throughout the day and especially after meals.”
2. “Don’t whiten if you have damaged (decayed) or sensitive teeth. Your teeth will only get worse,” warns Dr. Lazaris.
3. You shouldn’t use at-home whitening treatments on large fillings, veneers or crowns. “They won’t whiten,” explains Dr. Lazaris.
4. As tempting as it might be, do not go trifling with the instructions and go making up your own regimen for a ‘better result’. “The first time I whitened my teeth, the box said 20 minutes for five days, but I did 40 minutes for two days. My teeth were sensitive for a long time afterwards,” cautions one Gritty Pretty gal.