How to Whiten Your Teeth

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Are those pearly whites turning into yellow fangs? Follow these steps and you’ll end up with a smile that makes politicians jealous.

Step 1: Brush & floss
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day—the best offense against staining your teeth is a good defense.

Step 2: Use whitening toothpaste
Use a whitening toothpaste, which contains a special polishing agent or chemical to remove stains, that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Follow the label’s directions.

Step 3: Get teeth cleaned
Have your teeth cleaned by your dentist every six months—each visit will temporarily remove stains left by coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, or red wine.

Ask your dentist about professional whitening options such as chairside bleaching.

Step 4: Bleach at home
You can also try an at-home bleaching kit—be sure to follow the directions on the label and only use products with the ADA seal.

Consider having your dentist make a customized bleaching tray for your mouth, as over-the-counter kits have a one-size-fits-all dental tray which could allow the bleach to irritate your gums.

Step 5: Avoid discoloration
Avoid cigarettes, coffee, red wine, tea, and soft drinks, all of which can discolor your teeth.

Did You Know?
Ancient Romans sometimes used urine to whiten their teeth—there’s a technique your dentist won’t recommend.

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