While a bright white smile can be nice, there are some real problems in how its commonly achieved. Sometimes it’s too extreme, making teeth too white. The high levels of peroxide (both in home and clinical bleaching kits) can damage both the teeth and soft tissues (gums). It can also accelerate the release of mercury from “silver” amalgam fillings. For such reasons, for some people, tooth-whitening can be sheer hell.
“But I still want a white smile,” people say.
And we say, “There are other ways of getting one.”
For instance, Dr. Verigin’s assistant Stephanie often recommends women switch to lipstick or gloss that contains blue tones. Whereas red and orange tones tend to accent the yellowness of teeth, blue tones create the effect of brightening the smile.
Similarly, using a bronzer on the face can also give the effect of whiter teeth. A suntan can do the same thing, but play it safe: get it the natural way – not via tanning bed – and gradually, using sunscreen to protect your skin. (See EWG’s Cosmetic Safety Database for info on the safest products.)
You can also help keep your teeth as naturally bright and white as possible by keeping good home hygiene habits, brushing and flossing daily, and getting your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
Another help is avoiding over-consumption of drinks that tend to stain and/or erode dental enamel: teas, coffees, sodas, wine (both red and white) and energy drinks.
Notably, such measures are cheaper in the long run compared to bleaching the teeth – and are healthier for you, as well.