The Do's & Don'ts Of Teeth Whitening

cosmetic dentist in McKinney, TX

A cosmetic dentist in McKinney, TX, Dr. Paul Lawrence has seen firsthand the growing popularity of dental teeth whitening. From feeling more confident to looking your best, a great-looking smile can have a huge impact on many different aspects of your life. A recent study conducted by found that over 71 percent of women said they judge a potential match by the appearance of his teeth.

Of course, your love life isn’t the only thing that can improve with a better, brighter-looking smile. A study conducted by the independent researcher firm Kelton Research found that a whiter smile could also help you land the job of your dreams. The study found that applicants were 58 percent more likely to get offered a job and 53 percent more likely to receive a raise if their teeth were pearly white.

While the in-office whitening treatment offered by Dr. Lawrence can provide stunning results after just one visit, patients do have a number of options they can explore to restore a little of the luster lost from their smile. Unfortunately, not all whitening treatments offer the same level of safety and effectiveness. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening Don’ts

Don’t use baking soda. While baking soda may rank as an all-star multipurpose cleaner in the home, don’t consider using it on your teeth. The chemical compound of baking soda is fairly abrasive – part of the reason why it’s so efficient at removing stains – but those abrasive agents can also present a risk to your teeth. Baking soda won’t just help to remove stains, the abrasive compounds will actually wear away tooth enamel, as well, leading to your teeth actually becoming darker over time.

Don’t eat tooth-staining foods. While red wine and coffee seem the most likely culprits to contribute to tooth-staining, foods like tomato sauce, berries and soy sauce can also cause discoloration. As a general rule, the darker the pigmentation of a particular food or drink, the more likely it will cause staining.

Don’t guzzle artificial beverages. Artificially sweetened beverages like soda, fruit juice, energy and sports drinks not only contain high levels of sugar, they also have a fairly high acidity. Beverages with higher acidity erode away at enamel, making teeth easier to stain. In fact, some oral health experts compare the affect drinking these types of beverages have on your teeth to battery acid due to their corrosive nature. If you just can’t resist drinking your favorite beverage, consider sipping through a straw as that helps reduce the exposure your teeth have to the liquid.

Teeth Whitening Do’s

Do change out your toothbrush. You need to regularly replace your toothbrush as the bristles become worn with use. A brush with worn or broken bristles works far less efficiently at removing stains, so make sure to buy a new brush at least once every three months.

Do scrape your tongue. Harmful oral bacteria that contributes tooth discoloration builds up on both your teeth and tongue. If you brush regularly but fail to clean your tongue, you’re leaving a large portion of your mouth thriving with bacteria. To eliminate bacteria, while also freshening your breath, make sure to scrape your tongue at least once a day. ADA approved tongue scrapers can be purchased at most pharmacies and grocery stores.

Do eat raw veggies. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, celery and cauliflower carry the reputation as “Nature’s toothbrush.” That’s because eating these types of foods helps to scrub your teeth while increasing saliva flow, which in turn washes away bacteria. Diets high in fruits and veggies also help to limit sugar consumption, which can also contribute to staining.

If you have any questions about the best ways to whiten your teeth, feel free to ask your cosmetic dentist in McKinney, TX, Dr. Paul Lawrence, during your next appointment at McKinney Smiles!