Keeping your teeth white

Keep your Teeth White for that Hollywood Smile

A dazzling smile is incomplete without a set of pearly white teeth. We are all born with white healthy teeth but poor dental hygiene and bad lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive intake of coffee, tea, cola drinks and red wine, improper brushing techniques, turn your pearly whites to unsightly yellow. Home remedies help but sometimes you need that extra help which is available only at a dental clinic.

Other Reasons for discolored teeth

Teeth discoloration is not always due to external factors named above but at times there are internal problems in the inner structure of the teeth that can turn your teeth into a dull shade of grey, brown or ugly yellow.

  1. Due to some health issues when a mother is given antibiotics containing tetracycline the baby’s teeth are affected as the tetracycline will bind with the calcium ions in the teeth and lead to discoloration.
  2. Radiation and Chemotherapy affect the health of the teeth and lead to discolored teeth as the effects of the medication can discolor the enamel.
  3. Strange but true, some mouth rinses especially those containing chlorhexidine will stain your teeth.
  4. Physical trauma like falls can damage the teeth internally leading to discoloration.
  5. Even old age leads to yellowing because the enamel wears thin and the inner dentine becomes visible.

How to treat discolored teeth?

White teeth not only improve your looks but also play an important part in improving your self-esteem. There are several natural methods of whitening teeth and over the counter, teeth whitening kits will help to a certain extent but not completely. Seeking professional help would be beneficial.

Some of the methods commonly used to whiten teeth are:

  1. Teeth whitening kits are available over the counter. These kits consist of gels and trays which must be worn on your teeth either overnight or for a few hours. The kits consist of a differing percentage of hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Teeth whitening strips which can be applied directly to the teeth once or twice a day based on the need and discoloration. They are cost effective and suitable for mild discoloration.
  3. You can also use tooth whitening toothpaste which gives decent results for teeth otherwise well maintained.

The only drawback from these over the counter solutions is that if the concentration of the peroxide is too high it will lead to increased sensitivity in the teeth.

Denist chair bleaching

This method is expensive but the results are almost instantaneous and the procedure is done in the dentist’s chair. The normal procedure is to take pictures of the teeth before the procedure and after the procedure is done to compare. In the dentist’s office, a protective agent is applied to the gums before the whitening gel is applied to the teeth and a laser directed on it to quicken the whitening process. The whole procedure takes around 90 minutes.

Often aftercare is suggested wherein impressions of your upper and lower teeth are taken and molds filled with the whitening agent are made. You must wear this at home for a few hours. The dentist will also suggest the correct toothbrush to use.

Follow up with the dentist if your teeth feel sore. With proper care, the effect can last for 12 months.