When it comes to first impressions, there is little more striking than a Hollywood smile.
No one wants yellow or stained teeth. Today, you are confronted everywhere by sparkling white grins so it’s tempting to give nature a helping hand with some professional teeth whitening.
It is all about aesthetics, really. The whiter your teeth, the better you look.
There is some confusion about darker shades not being hygienic. This can be true if we are talking about the stains on your teeth from smoking and caffeinated drinks. Stained teeth are not just an eyesore but very unhealthy as well.
Stains make the whole dentition yellow or even brown. There’s also a foul odor if the stains are caused by tobacco.
How about if your teeth are healthy but simply darker in color?
Some Facts about Yellow Teeth
Before we look at what does and doesn’t work with teeth whitening, a few words about natural but yellow teeth.
The color of your teeth depends on the color of the dentin. This is the inner layer of the tooth and its color ranges from yellow to darker yellow and brown.
The outer layer of the tooth is the enamel which covers the dentin. It’s naturally white in color. When the enamel becomes thinner due to factors like too much brushing, chewing, sugary foods and age, the color of the dentin is gradually exposed and causes the teeth to appear darker.
At the same time, if the enamel is a bit translucent, the color of the dentin can be seen.
Teeth age along with the rest of your body. The older you get, the darker yellow your dentition will become.
This is a normal cycle. It has nothing to do with nicotine stains or caffeine or any other food-related factors. It is purely a natural phase.
Another factor is any antibiotic medications you might take when sick. Betadine and Bactidol mouthwashes can cause darkening of the dentition. Teeth tend to become not just yellow but even verge on brownish.
Geneticsalso play a major role in the color of the teeth. If your parents or grandparents have yellow teeth, there’s a higher probability that you’ll inherit the same coloring.
And, contrary to popular belief that yellow teeth are unhealthy, it is actually the other way around. The strongest and healthiest dentition is yellow. The darker the yellow, the stronger the teeth are.
While yellow teeth might be healthy, they look unsightly.
What can you do to change this for the better?
Teeth Whitening: What Does Work?
Visit a Dental Practitioner
The easiest and most effective way to achieve perfect teeth whitening is to visit a dentist. A dentist can also help diagnose any problems with discoloration and advise you on treatment.
All it will take is just about an hour and a half sitting on the dental chair with the procedure carried out under a light-curing machine. You’ll leave the clinic with a beaming, pearly smile.
These whitening results only last about 6months so you’ll need to keep on top of things.
Dentists use a product known as hydrogenperoxide which is a well-known bleaching agent. Since it is a chemical solution, extra care is necessary when applying it and your dental practitioner knows exactly how to do this safely.
- Important Note: Tooth sensitivity is the prime issue in bleaching teeth so it is recommended to ease off with whitening products after treatment
The Tray Method
This treatment includes a set of upper and lower teeth trays which can be applied at home in case you don’t have adequate time to devote for frequent dental appointments.
These bleaching trays are made from plastic and adhere to your dentition.
A bleaching gel prescribed by the dentist is placed on the trays. These trays are then set in place and left to sit overnight. You can do this during the day if it’s more convenient.
Bleaching gel is non-toxic. It might require longer applications but the effects also last longer. You can enjoy 2 -3 years of guaranteed whiteness.
This process is carried out over a maximum of 3 weeks.
These toothpastes contain silica, a kind of abrasive that helps scrub away the stains from your teeth.
Whitening toothpaste won’t give you overnight results. It will take weeks to obtain slight benefits, especially if you are a smoker and caffeine lover. But these toothpastes are undeniably effective.
Many dentists recommend whitening toothpaste to help maintain the sheen of professionally bleached teeth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The ever-so-versatile apple cider vinegar works in many wonderful ways. One of its prime uses is for whitening teeth.
Although it has natural acids, acidity in ACV is very minimal and absolutely harmless to your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar contains a natural whitening property. Because this is natural, the results are correspondingly slow. This is not the quick fix of a trip to the dentist.
Use ACV every day as a mouthwash or incorporate into your brushing and you will see the whitening effects in weeks.
Teeth Whitening: What Doesn’t Work?
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
According to experts, baking soda and lemon juice should be used with caution.
Baking sodais a natural abrasive and using too much can thin your enamel (outer layer of the tooth).
It can help to scour away some stains just exercise a light touch with baking soda.
Lemon juice is highly acidic. There is also no medical evidence to suggest it can help whiten teeth.
Many people claim coconut oil helps to remove stains but the jury is out and research pretty inconclusive.
Certainly, when gargled as a mouthwash, coconut oil washes away the bacteria that cause plaque and decays.
Experts agree that the lauric acid present in coconut oil eliminates germs inside the mouth.
Coconut oil also helps to remove plaque formations on the teeth making them appear cleaner and brighter mimicking a whitening effect.
However you decide to whiten your precious teeth, whether it’s heading to the dentist or using homemade teeth whitening remedies, one rule remains…
Keep your mouth clean while avoiding any food or drink that will contribute to staining and discoloration.
With teeth whitening, plenty of methods yield white teeth over time but nothing as rapidly or safely as visiting your dentist for professional care.