Your smile is the most beautiful thing you can wear, however, not everyone is lucky enough to be born with the perfect set of pearly whites. Don’t worry if you’re one of them. With smart tooth whitening procedures, everyone can flash a Hollywood smile.
White All The Way
Teeth whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures that lightens the natural tooth colour, helping to remove stains and discolouration.
Smoking, drinking or eating stain-inducing food and beverages (coffee, tea, berries, etc.), poor dental hygiene and aging can cause discolouration. Intrinsic stains are also common, wherein the dentin, or the inner structure of the tooth, becomes discoloured.
Other Causes That Could Trigger Teeth Discolouration
Exposure to too much fluoride during early childhood; accidental injury, such as trauma from a blow or fall; or, tetracycline antibiotics, which can stain a child’s teeth if taken by the mother during the second half of pregnancy, or by a child when eight years old or younger.
Fancy a brighter smile? See your dentist for advice. Teeth whitening should be performed only by a dental professional so as to avoid putting your oral health at risk.
What You Need To Know About The Procedure
Your dentist first examines teeth and gums to ensure proper health, also checking existing dental work. The yellowish teeth respond positively to whitening but the grayish teeth are more resistant to the process. Whitening agents do not work on crowns or composite, but must be changed after two weeks of bleaching cessation.
The teeth whitening treatment is divided into office bleaching and home bleaching. In office bleaching, the dentist puts a protective rubber shield or gel on the gums to avoid harm on the oral soft tissues. Then a bleaching agent is applied, usually peroxide, combined with a specialized laser to enhance the bleaching process. This combination can make the teeth up to eight shades lighter in one hour. Generally, the teeth bleaching treatment is safe and does not weaken the tooth as long as used properly. However, it is not recommended during pregnancy.
Home bleaching requires use a whitening gel to be applied onto a tray or mouth guard. Improvement for this procedure is slower and you need to do the bleaching for a minimum of 14 days to get the best results.
The best bleaching option is believed to be a combination of both office and home bleaching, where the patient can get a naturally pearly white smile and not a fake bright white smile. Office bleaching can be done twice a year, while at-home bleaching can be repeated regularly every four to six months. However, do not over do home bleaching and always consult with a dentist before starting any bleaching process (even though these kits are sold over the counter without the need for a dentist’s prescription).
Remember, anything that can stain a white shirt – coffee, tea, red wine, cola – can also stain your teeth. Whenever possible, choose the lighter option: iced cappuccino over espresso, champagne over red wine, grapefruit juice over cranberry juice. Use a straw to avoid contact with the bleached teeth and rinsing immediately are also recommended.
Eat Your Way To White Teeth
Making necessary dietary changes by eating the right foods can definitely help you achieve the healthy bright smile you’ve always wanted. Here are our top five choices of foods to eat for whiter teeth:
Apples – the high malic acid content in apples helps increase the saliva production, which in turn cleans teeth and removes stains. Plus, the fruit is also good for strengthening your gums.
Carrots – munching raw carrots are good for scraping off plaque from your teeth as the vegetable’s fibrous nature makes it act like a natural toothbrush.
Pineapples – these tropical fruits are really great as desserts after a meal, they are tasty and sweet, plus they contain bromelain, an enzyme that buffs stain away.
Broccoli – the florets of crisp raw broccoli help scrub your teeth as you chew on them thus removing food residue and staining particles. The iron naturally found in the vegetable also provides an acid-resistant wall that can protect the teeth enamel from getting stained and forming cavities.
Cheese – hard cheese, like cheddar, is another good after-meal treat; they help clean the teeth by stimulating the production of saliva, and they contain alkali, which is great for countering the acid left by the food and drinks you have consumed.
Simple Strategies For A Sunshine Smile
With age, teeth inevitably begin to turn yellow, but there are a number of lifestyle changes and simple home remedies that can offset the discolouration process.
- Quitting smoking and any tobacco products – These usually result in nicotine stains on the teeth and also weaken the enamel leading to oral health problems.
- Brushing teeth with baking soda – This has proven to be a safe method for teeth whitening as baking soda can gently polish away stains. An evidence-based research from 2017 indicated that the use of baking soda is an effective and safe method for removal of teeth stains.
- Using hydrogen peroxide – It has a mild bleaching effect on stained teeth. It is advised to brush teeth with a mixture of both hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for 1-2 minutes twice daily to achieve optimal whitening.
- Maintaining a high level of oral hygiene – By brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. Fluoride protects against tooth decay and even reverses it. Flossing helps clean the gums by removing plaque between the teeth.