When you meet someone new, what is the first thing you notice about them? For many, the first thing they notice is someone’s smile. A healthy, white smile can be a very attractive feature.
What can you do to achieve a whiter smile?
The safest, least invasive, and most effective method is ‘Bleaching’ or ‘Teeth Whitening’ – this procedure involved the application of a Peroxide based gel in a custom mouth-tray, which breaks down the internal stains of your teeth by oxidising them.
The beauty of this is that it involves no drilling, no fillings, and nothing artificial stuck to teeth. Even better and contrary to popular belief, the whitening process does NOT harm teeth – the enamel stays healthy, only just brighter and whiter as the pigments are broken down.
The disadvantage of teeth whitening is increased sensitivity to cold, but this is only a temporary side-effect lasting a few days.
The other methods which can give a brighter smile is through using materials such as composites, porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. These are all more invasive than teeth whitening, and are usually reserved for more damaged and already-filled teeth.
What doesn’t work?
Whitening toothpastes will not whiten your teeth. They are good at reducing and preventing surface stains from forming, but the actual shade of your enamel does not change. Whitening toothpastes are therefore recommended after teeth whitening, in a way to keep them white. However, we must be careful in using whitening toothpastes as they can be quite abrasive.
Oil pulling is the act of swishing coconut oil around your mouth for 20-minutes at a time. The teeth will appear whiter from a dehydration effect and superficial stain removal, but unlike peroxide gels mentioned above, it will not penetrate in to the tooth.
The bottom line: Home-bleaching with peroxide gel prescribed by a Dentist is the safest, most evidence-based and cost-effective way to brighten your smile.
About Jaz Gulati
Private Dentist and Geek
Triangle Dental (Tilehurst) and The Richmond Dentist (West London)
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