We have all been there. Aging, sugary foods and beverages, or compromised dental hygiene can often result in stained or yellowed teeth. Teeth can darken or turn yellow due to enamel thinning or consumption of staining foods and beverages (especially tea, coffee and wine) in excess.
Some people have naturally whiter teeth than others, depending upon the structure of enamel. It is the outermost protective layer that is actually responsible for giving our teeth their white color. No matter what the reason for someone's yellow or stained teeth is, there is hope for resurrection. After all, everyone deserves an equal chance to have that perfect pearly white smile.
1. Basic Oral Hygiene
As basic as it may seem, maintaining a consistent and effective oral hygiene routine is imperative to cleaner as well as whiter teeth. All you need to do is brush your teeth the right way, floss and attend your regular dentist appointments.
Brushing your teeth twice a day in a circular motion, making sure to cover all cracks and crevices, will keep the outer surfaces of your teeth clean. Flossing, which is often an overlooked habit, is essential to clean between the teeth and prevent the buildup of plaque. Over time this also helps get rid of stains. Brushing and flossing on a regular basis protects the enamel and prevents stains and decay, which give teeth a healthier and whiter appearance. Brushing with whitening toothpaste has also gained popularity in recent years.
2. Dietary Changes
Eating a diet rich in fibrous fruits and vegetables is said to be good for dental health. Chewing on crunchy vegetables like celery or carrots is helpful in keeping the teeth cleaner and stainless. This is because fruits and vegetables like celery, carrot and apples are naturally abrasive and help remove some of the substances that discolor teeth.
Foods high in calcium, especially dairy products, have been traditionally recommended to maintain dental health, and not without a good reason. Adequate levels of calcium are essential to maintain the structure of enamel and keep your teeth white. It is also necessary to address vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially those of Vitamin D and magnesium, which is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body.
3. Professional Whitening Treatment
In order to combat discoloration that have already occurred, professional whitening treatment is recommended. Treatment options include in-chair sessions at the dental clinic as well as supervised use of home whitening kits.
There are several different types of home whitening treatments available on the market. For example:
- Syringes which contain a whitening gel that you regularly apply to your teeth or to trays which are worn over your teeth.
- Whitening trays that adapt to your teeth. These trays contain a whitening gel inside and should also be worn regularly and for a set amount of time.
- Strips that mold around the shape of your teeth to release the whitening gel.
However, not all of these products are recommended by professionals or contain high quality ingredients. In order to ensure you are using the best quality products it is advisable to first visit your dentist. They can ensure that you are fit to carry out the treatment and recommend the best options for you.
Furthermore, some home treatments can also be harsh on your teeth due to their high hydrogen peroxide content. While high-quality hydrogen peroxide is not of much concern, low-quality hydrogen peroxide can cause corrosion of the layer of enamel on your teeth. This can lead to increased sensitivity and reduce the longevity of your teeth. Therefore, it’s important to always read the label of any product carefully before investing in it.
For people with sensitive teeth, high amounts of hydrogen peroxide can prove quite harmful. If this applies to you, speak with your dentist to find a safe treatment option.
Professional in-chair whitening treatments can only be conducted by a trained dentist. They take place in an environment which is carefully monitored and makes use of a high-quality bleaching agent safely. It also provides you with almost immediate results.
Teeth whitening is a complicated procedure, and it is generally advised to consult your dentist to come up with the best plan of action rather than blindly picking up something without adequate information.