Over the past few years, more and more people have the desire to get whiter teeth. With celebrities and fashion bloggers flashing their perfect smiles across our social media newsfeed every day, we’re becoming even more saturated with the idea of beauty and perfection. It’s said that our smile accounts for at least 50% of our natural beauty, so it’s no surprise that we all want a great smile with naturally white teeth. With a sudden surge of whitening toothpaste, rinses, and over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, people have become enamoured with the idea of achieving the perfect smile.
Did you know that a perfectly white smile doesn’t always imply healthy teeth? If you want healthy, naturally whiter teeth and not just cosmetically bleached-white teeth, it’s important to understand why and how the discolouration occurs. Your teeth are covered with a smooth enamel that is naturally white. When that wears out it will reveal the lower layer called dentil that is yellow in colour. So, while you may think your teeth are merely stained from drinking too much coffee, it could actually mean the enamel of your tooth is beginning to erode. With age, slight erosion of the enamel is normal, but there are ways you can prevent the acceleration of this. As professionals in dentistry, we can offer a few home remedies for teeth whitening that will not only offer a pleasant view but can also improve your oral health.
Here are 10 quick facts about teeth whitening most people didn’t know:
1.Teeth absorb stains like sponges
Teeth have pores just like our skin. When we consume foods and drinks that have staining properties, you may have thought the staining occurs on the surface of your teeth. Your teeth can actually absorb the colour of the food you eat and over time, and the staining can occur under the surface of your teeth.
2. Teeth whitening is not damaging for your teeth
Getting your teeth whitened by a dental professional is absolutely safe and is not permanently damaging for your teeth. During a whitening treatment, an active ingredient is used to temporarily open the pores in your teeth and quickly remove stains. After each whitening session, your teeth will naturally remineralize and rehydrate.
3. Temporarily sensitive teeth after whitening is normal
Some people think that teeth whitening is damaging because their teeth are so sensitive after a treatment. Fortunately, that’s not the case and a little sensitivity is completely normal — the pores of your teeth were just opened and need time to remineralize and minimize in size again. Once they return to their normal size, your teeth won’t feel as sensitive.
4. Not all teeth are suitable for whitening treatments
People who may have unhealthy gums or teeth can actually cause further damage to their teeth if they attempt to whiten their teeth before treating their issues. Often, many people are unaware of problems with their teeth or gums so it is always recommended to consult a dentist before teeth whitening to check for such things enamel thickness, receding gums, tooth decay, and oral diseases.
5. The key to whitening teeth depends on the delivery
You can compare whitening strips to a custom fitted mouth tray. A mouth tray that delivers a whitening gel is specifically designed to hug every natural curve of a tooth in order to provide an even and adequate amount of whitening gel. A whitening strip may contain the same types of ingredients, however, the fit is not exact so total whitening may take longer to achieve in all areas.
6. Laser or UV light teeth whitening is not permanent
These treatments offer temporary solutions, and your teeth can easily become stained again if you continue to consume food or drinks that cause staining. Neglecting good daily oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing twice a day will make your teeth return to their yellow tinge even faster.
7. Stains on teeth cannot be removed with whitening toothpaste
If you’re brushing with whitening toothpaste and haven’t noticed much of a difference, it’s because whitening toothpaste doesn’t penetrate into the pores and reach stains below the surface. Whitening toothpaste have a mild abrasive to scrub the top layer of the teeth, removing surface stains only. Since most stains occur below the surface of the tooth, it is not likely to notice a big difference in the colour of your teeth using whitening toothpaste.
8. Veneers and caps cannot be whitened
Now that you understand the anatomy of how teeth are whitened, you may now understand why veneers and caps cannot be whitened the same way. They are not the same as natural teeth and therefore cannot be whitened the same way.
9. Not everyone can get perfectly white teeth
Everyone’s genetic makeup is different and the natural appearance of each individual’s teeth will vary. The colour of your teeth is set at birth. A whitening treatment will only lift all stains and from below the tooth’s surface and restore the teeth as best as possible to its natural state. You won’t actually know your teeth’s natural shade of white until you do a whitening treatment, and it’s not something your dentist can predict either; they can only assess the severity of the apparent stains on your teeth.
10. Teeth whitening works best if done during your nightly routine
People aren’t consuming foods and drinks while they sleep, which is why performing a whitening treatment before bed is the best time. You wouldn’t want to sip a coffee or tea while your tooth’s pores are open right?
Aside from brushing and flossing your teeth daily, here are some teeth whitening remedies you do at home:
1. Eat raw fruits and vegetables
This is good for both your body and your teeth. Raw fruits and vegetables are hard and abrasive. When chewed, they help rub off surface stains and plaque that leads to cavities.
2. DIY whitening rinse
Rinse with apple cider vinegar once a week. Mix ⅓ of apple cider vinegar in two parts water and rinse your teeth by swishing it around your mouth for one minute.
3. Use a straw
Using a straw to drink carbonated drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, and other sugary or acidic drinks can reduce the exposure they have to your teeth. You should actually try to reduce the amount you consume of these types of drinks as they can be very damaging to the enamel of your teeth. Brush your teeth after consuming these types of drinks.
4. DIY scrub
Applying a baking soda and lemon juice paste gently scrubs away surface stains to return teeth to a whiter shade. Baking soda is great because it’s not acidic and will also reduce the acidity of the lemon juice, which acts as a natural bleaching element. Mix two teaspoons into lemon juice and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to your teeth using a toothbrush and leave on for one to three minutes. Rise away with water. You can do this once a week.
Teeth whitening is a process and requires patience and persistence. Achieving naturally whiter teeth and good oral health is habitual and a combination of diet and hygiene. Start a daily routine for teeth cleaning at home and stick to it, whether it be a morning routine or a nightly routine. Feeling good about yourself and achieving a celebrity smile doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on bleaching kits, just remember these easy tips to leading a healthy lifestyle and practicing daily teeth cleaning habits.
For more information on teeth whitening treatments near you, call Oakville Place Dental at (905) 842-6030 or contact us here.