Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure throughout Melbourne and Australia. But at-home kits or a trip to your cosmetic dentist isn’t the only way to brighten your teeth. While these methods are effective and can lighten your teeth up to several shades, saving the money can be tricky. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your teeth looking naturally lovely with a few simple tips and habits — then you can get those extra shades whiter once you have some more cash in your kitty.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Teeth Whitened?
One of the major reasons for avoiding professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures is the cost. Although highly effective, in-chair whitening can cost as little as $650 and as much as $2,000. Some opt for at-home whitening kits, but customised, dentist-grade whitening trays can still cost anywhere between $250 and $500. The most cost-effective option is over-the-counter whitening strips (costing between $10 to $30), but we advise avoiding these as they can be abrasive on your teeth. You can even permanently damage your teeth using them.
How to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally?
If you’re keen to undergo professional teeth whitening but are a little strapped for cash, there are many ways you can keep your pearly whites looking pearly bright in the meantime. Have you considered any of the below?
Brush your teeth regularly — This might sound obvious, but it’s all too easy to fall out of the habit of brushing morning and night. Brush twice a day to keep the plaque at bay and also to reduce dental staining.
Drink plenty of water — We’re not saying you have to drink eight cups a day, but you should definitely keep your fluids up throughout the day. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated and the electrolytes replenished. It also has the fortunate side effect of rinsing surface sediments from your teeth.
Avoid staining food and drink — Why is teeth whitening so popular in Melbourne? Because a fair portion of the city is hooked on coffee and red wine: perhaps the top-two teeth-staining beverages on the market. Unfortunately, caffeinated drinks (such as tea and cola) and colourful fruits (such as berries, red grapes and any liquid variants) are among the worst culprits for staining. Other dishonourable mentions include chocolate, acidic food (such as tomato or lemon) and anything with large amounts of sugar. For whiter teeth, we recommend choosing apples or other fruits or vegetables with a bit of crunch.
Quit smoking — If you’re a smoker, this will be easier said than done; however, tobacco stains are perhaps the largest obstacle to a pristine set of pearly whites. Some dentists will only perform whitening procedures on the proviso that a patient will quit smoking. So, if the health benefits aren’t incentive enough, why not quit for the sake of your smile? Try going one day without cigarettes, and, as time goes on, aim to increase that time frame. You should notice marked improvement on your teeth’s appearance.
Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth? And While We’re At It, Does Charcoal Whiten Teeth?
While ‘natural’ teeth whiteners can remove surface stains, they’re not recommended remedies. Baking soda can have a supplementary whitening effect, but read around and you’ll realise that many toothpastes contain baking soda anyway, arguably rendering it redundant.
Charcoal, trendy as it is, raises even more red flags. Similar to baking soda, it can remove surface stains, but long-term use can actually lead to longer-term staining, as well as enamel damage. Use charcoal toothpaste every day and you’re encouraging charcoal particles to accumulate in your teeth’s natural crevices, which is what causes the staining.
Overall, your best bet is to ditch the natural teeth whiteners and stick with fluoride toothpaste. Charcoal toothpaste often does not contain fluoride, and this ingredient is your teeth’s best defence against cavities.
Here’s to Whiter, Brighter Teeth
If your teeth could use some whitening up, there are certainly ways to make it happen. Whether you want to get your teeth professionally whitened or keep them naturally brighter with a regular check-up and clean, Abbotsford Dental can help you kick your smile goals. With cosmetic dentistry options and payment plans available, we’re a dentist servicing Abbotsford, Kew, Richmond and beyond. Come visit us at Abbotsford Dental and enjoy accessible, high-quality oral health options suitable for everyone.