Is teeth whitening worth the cost? Plus, foods to avoid for a whiter smile
It’s been a while since I posted a blog post in my ‘Braces at 30’ category and I’m pleased to report everything is great and I am very happy with my new teeth. You can see the final results and before and after brace photos in my last braces blog post here.
One thing I only touched on and didn’t go into too much detail about was my teeth whitening experience. So I’m here today to share with you which option I went for and I even have some advice on foods to avoid for a whiter smile from a teeth whitening expert.
My teeth whitening experience
The treatment I used was called PolaNight which is an advanced at-home teeth whitening system which I used with the guidance of my cosmetic dentist to ensure the best and safest results. It takes a few appointments with the cosmetic dentist for this treatment, even though you technically do the whitening yourself at home.
The first appointment was to take moulds of my teeth which involved biting into some putty, waiting for it to set and the dentist kind of popping it off the teeth.
The second appointment was to collect the trays once they were ready, the syringes of solution and to be shown exactly what to do. I was advised to only use a small blob of PolaNight on each tooth as it will spread over the tooth once the tray is in position. It was also suggested to ignore the back teeth and to only whiten the teeth that can be seen when smiling/laughing as otherwise it’s a waste of solution and will cost more.
My next appointment was to see the colour difference after one week and as there wasn’t much difference, or not noticeable to my eye, I was given a complimentary set of syringes to continue for another week.
Luckily this worked and I was happy with the final result after two weeks of whitening.
For the actual whitening I put the solution on just before bed and wore the trays whilst I was sleeping until I woke in the morning. On day two my teeth and gums were pretty sensitive for a few hours, but after this I never got the sensitivity again, even after two weeks of application!
I found the whole process very easy. The hardest part is probably avoiding teeth staining foods such as coffee that will hinder or slow down the results. But it’s only 1-2 weeks, so absolutely worth avoiding offending food and drink if you’re investing your cash into whitening your teeth this way!
Keep reading to discover foods to avoid if you want to keep your teeth white. I share expert advice below.
Is teeth whitening worth the cost?
Honestly, I believe it’s different for everyone. If having a whiter brighter smile will make you happier and more confident, then yes it’s absolutely worth it. For me I am much happier and less self-conscious of my smile now I’ve had my teeth whitened.
Of course I have also had my teeth straightened with a brace and had false teeth to give me the perfect smile. So for me whitening my teeth was the last step to give me the ultimate perfect smile after two and a half years of wearing braces!
I am very impressed with the results from the PolaNight and I will continue to whiten my teeth each year or as and when they need it.
The upfront cost is quite expensive, but it’s mainly the custom trays that cost the most. My plastic retainers to keep my teeth straight cost around £100 each to replace and the trays for the tooth whitening cost around the same each. A cheaper option is to buy standard trays, but they won’t be designed to fit your exact teeth. After the cost of the trays, the actual PolaNight solution is only around £10 per syringe from my cosmetic dentist, so this is not very expensive at all.
Plus it actually works. I dread to think how much money I wasted before my braces on various home tooth whitening products that really didn’t work.
If, like I was, you are spending a lot of money each month on trying to whiten your own teeth at home with products that really aren’t working for you, then professional whitening with the guidance of a cosmetic dentist is worth the cost. You’re probably spending that much per year on ineffective treatments anyway, like I was!
Foods you should avoid to achieve a whiter smile
Of course it is possible to keep your teeth whiter naturally by avoiding certain foods and drinks. Today I have a teeth whitening expert called Dr. Marc Lazare here to share some tips and advice on which foods you should avoid to achieve a whiter smile:
A sparkling white smile is something many people would give up a lot for. Luminous white teeth are not only good for promoting beauty, but they also help to boost confidence and self-esteem.
According to research, people with white teeth are usually happier and successful in relationships as compared to their counterparts. They also have more confidence to interact with people, and this makes them socially competent and psychologically adjusted.
The colour of our teeth isn‘t only a result of care and management, but also by the food we eat. Some foods are good at promoting whiter teeth while others aren’t.
The following are the food types to avoid if you want to maintain that shining white smile.
Most acidic fruits such as citrus fruits cause teeth to turn yellowish. Many have blamed fruits like oranges or tomatoes for causing discoloration of teeth. These fruits are hard to avoid because they hold plenty of nutrients that help the body and strengthen the immune system. However, the fruits contain some bacteria that form an acid that erodes the enamel. The tissues below the enamel are usually made up of calcium and phosphate, something that makes them vulnerable.
Sweets are a favourite for many children and adults. As many of us have heard before, however, sweets are not helpful for maintaining healthy teeth. When someone eats a lot of sweets or sugary foods that stick in the mouth, they risk damaging their teeth.
This is because tooth decay brought by bacteria settles in the mouth to feed on the sugar that sticks in the teeth. When these bacteria feed on sugar, they release acids. These acids erode the teeth and later cause holes and discoloration of the teeth.
Coffee is one of the most favourite drinks for most people. A lot of people cannot begin their day without their favourite cup of coffee to stimulate them. However, did you know coffee could be the reason your teeth are not as white as you would want them to be? This is because coffee contains tannins that cause staining and discoloration of the teeth.
Coffee is also a highly acidic drink, and this acidity alters the natural pH balance in the mouth. This causes the mouth to be highly acidic, so any acidic food consumed afterward may damage the teeth. The best way to drink coffee is to consume it with a go-lid because that prevents high levels of acidity from accumulating in your mouth.
Just like coffee, tea also contains tannins. Sipping on a cup of tea regularly can deny you from enjoying luminous white teeth. Tea is also known to turn the colour of the teeth. Green tea often causes people’s teeth to turn greyish while black tea may cause teeth to turn yellowish. The best way to minimize the ability of tea to discolour teeth is by adding some milk to every cup of tea.
Sodas and carbonated drinks
Sodas are beverages that contain high levels of sugar. Some remnants of the sugar remain in the mouth, and this creates a constant supply for the bacteria to feed on. When mouth bacteria feed on sugar, they release acid that damages the teeth.
Any carbonated drink is acidic. This means that the carbonation in most sodas only increases acidity levels in the mouth, and this makes things worse. The non-sugary carbonated drinks are bad for the teeth too since they are acidic.
Blue and blackberries
While berries are renowned as one of the greatest foods because of their antioxidant properties, they are not great for sparkling white teeth. Berries and pomegranates are highly rich in pigmentations. These pigmentations play a significant role in staining the teeth.
Despite their superfood properties, berries can stain the teeth, thus making it hard to achieve your dream of having white teeth. These fruits are highly nutritious despite their coloration properties. Consuming them promotes better health.
Red and white wine
Wine is a favourite drink for many people, but did you know that it could be responsible for your grey teeth? Just like coffee and tea, red wine contains tannins. Wine is also highly acidic and plays a role in altering the acidity levels of the mouth.
While white wine doesn’t cause staining in the mouth, it also has high levels of acid. Acidity causes the top layer of teeth to weaken and allow drinks to sink deeper into the teeth.
About Dr. Marc Lazare
Dr. Marc Lazare is a clinical faculty member at New York University College of dentistry. Dr. Lazare has also served on the teaching staff at North Shore University Hospital. Hundreds of clients who visit his New York offices every day to receive various dentistry services can attest to his work as an experienced dentist. You can learn more about Dr. Lazare and the services he provides on his site. Click here to learn more about thisteeth whitening expert from NYC.
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