We see it on TV and in the movies; pretty people smiling and flashing their shiny, white teeth. We wouldn’t blame you if you wished you have those too, that is the reason why you are reading this article now, right? Virtually no one is satisfied with how their smiles look, and that is partly because of their teeth. Here, let us discover why white teeth are ideal, and find out some tooth whitening methods that you can try so you can have those camera-ready sparkling pearly whites.
Tooth whitening: Why do we need it?
Well, tooth whitening is not considered a dental necessity. Having your teeth whitened is part of cosmetic dentistry, which means that it may not affect how your teeth function; it is only for aesthetic purposes. But do not get us wrong; some people prefer to have tooth whitening because it affects their lives in big ways. People who feel self-conscious about how their teeth look would get an instant boost of self-confidence once they whiten their teeth. Their communication skills will also improve once they lose their shyness and feelings of embarrassment because of the stained and yellowish teeth. There are also some studies that showed people with white teeth get more job opportunities and admirers in life. Clearly, these reasons are valid enough for one to value tooth whitening procedures.
How do we get stained and discolored teeth?
You may be brushing your teeth regularly, but still, you notice that your teeth are turning yellow as time passes? What went wrong? Here are some of the reasons why teeth can get discolored and stained:
The foods and drinks you consume
Some foods and beverages have staining ingredients, affecting your teeth little by little each time you have them. The color pigments on food may attach to the enamel of the surface of the tooth. They may not cause the teeth any damage or decay, but their color may transfer and ruin the shine and whiteness of your teeth.
Has anyone said that smoking made their lives better? Absolutely none! Smoking tobacco and cigarettes will do your body no good. It can cause so many health problems, and in this case, the components of your cigars will damage your teeth. Tar and nicotine stain the teeth and makes your breath smelling off.
Yes, this means the yellowing of your teeth is virtually inevitable. Over time, after all the brushing and flossing, the outer surface or the enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
No medicine would not have side effects. With that said, some drugs can cause staining of the teeth. Medications containing tetracyclines, doxycyclines, and iron can cause discoloration of the enamel. Likewise, chemotherapy and radiation of the head and neck may also cause some changes in the color of your pearly whites.
How does tooth whitening work?
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain bleaching chemicals, like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These bleaching agents break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter. But do not abuse this procedure because not all teeth stains and discolorations can be managed by tooth whitening. It is best to consult your trusted dentist as to what should be the most appropriate procedure that could address your dental problem.
Different tooth whitening procedures
While some people would think that tooth whitening is unnecessary, some would also believe that it would be very beneficial for their self-esteem and confidence. While others resort to natural remedies to avoid complications, others would even resort to dental treatments that use bleaching agents and other whitening chemicals. Here are some procedures and ways for you to whiten your teeth.
Professional tooth whitening offers excellent and safe results. This procedure is performed in the dental office and can be done quickly, typically within an hour or so. One thing about in-office tooth whitening is it is expensive. However, the time that you save by having immediate results can make this choice interesting.
Home tooth whitening treatments
If you would much prefer doing the tooth whitening in the comfort of your home, you may want to try customized home tooth whitening. Your dentist can give you with custom-made trays for at-home whitening. In this case, instead of having them supervise your procedure, your dentist will provide instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for how long it should stay on your teeth. This option may be a favored alternative if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still having the safe supervision and guidance of a professional. As long as you follow the instructions to a T, no side effects or complications should be expected. Out-of-office tooth whitening can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Over-the-counter tooth whitening products
If you think in-office or home tooth whitening is too expensive for you, maybe you would want to look at drugstore or convenience store-bought whitening products. These are different from the home teeth whitening option because these are do-it-yourself options. They are not customized to fit your needs, and they can be for standard use of the general public. Products like whitening strips, gels, generic trays, are available for anyone to use. They may include lower amounts of bleaching ingredients to be safe for use by ordinary people. However, the parts of the treatment where the bleaching agents are found may not be the right fit for your teeth, making the chemicals in contact with your gums and risking irritation.
Tooth whitening toothpastes
The simplest way to whiten teeth is by using toothpastes. While all kinds of toothpaste help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth, whitening toothpastes do it better. Aside from scratching the stains off your teeth, they also contain chemical ingredients that whiten and polish the enamel. Though these agents may not be as potent as bleach when it comes to removing yellow stains and discolorations, continued use can make you see the difference as time passes.