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We all want brighter, whiter teeth, but as whitening treatments can cost upwards of $1000 - without permanent results - brightening up those pearly whites can be expensive. Take a look at these tips and tricks to learn how to get & maintain whiter teeth.

If your teeth are looking a little past their best and are stained either gray or yellow, don't worry - you're not alone! Teeth can stain as we get older, but eating certain foods, drinking certain beverages and even some mouthwashes can cause discoloration. At-home remedies can improve the brightness and whiteness of teeth, but avoiding certain foods and drinks can help maintain those bright white gnashers. Get the perfect, bright white smile by following these tips to a white smile.

Do it Yourself Teeth Whitening Kits

There are literally thousands of teeth whitening kits on the shelves - some have strips, some use toothpaste, and others use gum shields.

Cheaper kits will use bleach, and if you have sensitive gums, you should keep away from these kits as they can irritate your gums and can even cause bleeding in some.

More expensive kits tend to use an abrasive product that literally scrubs the stains away from the teeth in the same way that getting your teeth scaled and polished at the dentists does. Some kits use peroxide, which is effective at whitening teeth that are yellow, but it's important that you paint the peroxide onto the teeth only, making sure that it doesn't touch the gums. Kits that include trays that are put onto teeth can be effective, but because the trays can make contact with your gums if not fitted properly, could cause more side effects. Whitening strips, on the other hand, are pretty much foolproof.

Whitening Tooth Care Products

Take a trip to a pharmacist or any large supermarket and you'll find a vast array of whitening tooth care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouth washes. Some of these can actually be very helpful and although they don't whiten the natural color of your teeth in the same way that bleach can, they are very effective at clearing up stains and giving your teeth a "natural" white color. Using a whitening toothpaste with a whitening toothbrush and mouthwash will be far more effective than using just one product. Once you achieve the desired tooth color, to maintain that whiteness, you should follow good oral hygiene practices and use a whitening toothpaste just once or twice a week, rather than every day.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is fairly simple - and if you follow a few simple rules, your teeth will be brighter and whiter within just a few weeks. Brush teeth twice a day, making sure to brush front and back, making sure that you get right to the back of teeth and floss once a day, being careful not to catch the gums. Follow with a mouthwash, if your dentist recommends it, and visit your hygienist once every six months to get a full scale and polish. 

Without good oral hygiene, you won't have white teeth, whichever whitening treatments or bleaches that you use - plus, your teeth will be more prone to staining and discoloration.
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