We all want whiter teeth, but what are we willing to do for it? Reaching for tooth whitening is one way to achieve whiter teeth, but is that all that can be done? The colour of your teeth is impacted by a number of factors, some of which you have some control over. So, where should you start if you think your teeth are beginning to yellow? Here’s what you need to know about changes in tooth colour.
Things You Can’t Control
If you’re finding yourself spending more time assessing your teeth colour in the mirror lately, there are a few factors that might be playing into it. Have you ever noticed that your teeth appear to be lighter in some rooms and darker in others? That’s because lighting has a lot to say about how our teeth appear, and certain lipstick colours are more likely to produce a yellowing effect on the teeth than others. Look for lipsticks with cooler tones as warm tones can contribute to this effect.
Lighting does not account for all the blame here, as there could be more factors at play including your age and gender. Men’s teeth tend to be larger and therefore show more surface area on the presentation side of their teeth. Since it is normal for teeth to discolour a bit as you age, men often find that their teeth appear more yellow earlier than their female counterparts.
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Things You Can Control
You can’t easily control your age or gender, but the good news is that there are many things that you can control where tooth colour is concerned. Since your teeth rely on a vitamin and mineral rich blood supply, we recommend eating a well balanced and nutrient dense diet. Eating a healthy diet low in simple carbohydrates and refined sugars decreases the growth of plaque bacteria and, subsequently, tartar. With a healthy foundation in place, it is time to turn your attention to the stainers in your life – the usual suspects are coffee, black tea, red wine and pigmented beverages like berry juices. These stainers particularly like to transfer colour to the calcified plaque on the teeth (tartar).
Tartar can only be removed by a trained dental professional, so avoiding the growth of plaque in the mouth in the first place is the best way to prevent it. Some tooth discolouration is due to surface stains and tartar around the collars of the teeth and a thorough dental cleaning is the first line of correction.
If you are a smoker, you already know that this is contributing to yellowing of the teeth. Without eliminating the source of the problem, tooth whitening will be a continuous concern. There are several resources available to you in quitting the smoking habit. If you are ready to begin your journey to a smoke-free lifestyle, ask your dentist what options might be available to assist you with quitting.
Where it comes to beverages, your dentist recommends still water as your ideal go-to. We know, fizzy drinks might be more exciting, but the truth is that even your favourite fizzy water does damage to your teeth. You see, while your fizzy water is calorie free, it is also unfortunately quite acidic. The acid attacks your enamel and makes it more susceptible to unsightly decay and staining.
Getting Outside Help
We know that you want to get the best service for your money and tooth whitening is no different. That’s why we recommend that if you are in the market for a tooth whitening product you should speak to your dentist about a clinical whitening option before investing in over-the-counter whitening products. True, over-the-counter whitening systems use the same active ingredient as your dentist’s clinical option, but they vary greatly in their ability to deliver effective bleaching.
Patients sometimes come to a dentist after trying over-the-counter solutions and once they experience the efficacy of clinical whitening, they wish they’d never invested in any other system. Your dentist’s clinical service also offers help with the side-effects of whitening. Peroxide dehydrates the teeth slightly, which you feel if sensitivity develops after whitening. Dehydration does correct itself naturally, but your dentist has rehydrating solutions that assist in this process in order to decrease potential discomfort preemptively. Gum protection is also offered by your dentist and also decreases discomfort since the gums are not exposed to the bleaching agent and do not, therefore, suffer the effects of chemical burn that can occur with strips. Your dentist’s product delivers a better effect in less time and keeps you more comfortable during and after the process.
If you have questions about this or other services offered, contact our clinic today.