Those gorgeous people in magazines, television and movies all seem to have beautiful teeth, and they are not at all shy about flashing their pearly whites wherever they go. Such teeth are surely to be envied; and so, many go through the process of getting whiter teeth. Some even go to rather extreme extents. They give up their favorite caffeinated drinks, or they shy away from dark-colored foods just to avoid staining their precious teeth. People are really willing to go through just about anything to achieve a dazzling smile. Yet, are white teeth truly healthy teeth, or is this practice just for aesthetic appeal?
1. Teeth color is not a precise indicator of dental health.
Having dazzling pearly whites is a huge asset, and white teeth also look really good. So, if you’re a movie star or a regular person who wants to impress, then having a sparkly smile is surely a great advantage. However, even though white teeth look beautiful, the color doesn’t necessarily indicate that the teeth are healthy. There are some people who just have naturally yellow teeth, and this doesn’t mean that they have dental caries or that they don’t practice proper dental hygiene. There are so many things that can cause teeth to discolor, such as genetics, lifestyle and habits. In addition, some who have very white teeth may actually have weaker tooth enamels. So, their teeth may look nice from the outside, but internally, these are in poor condition.
2. Bleached teeth can still turn yellow.
If you want to have whiter teeth, bleaching is an option that you can discuss with your dentist. But be realistic. Bleaching is not a permanent solution. Your teeth can still become yellow if you continue with certain habits that hasten discoloration. In general, the effects of bleaching can last for 3 to up to 5 years. But how long you’ll be able to enjoy having sparkly white teeth will be largely dependent on your regular routine. If you like enamel-staining beverages, like red wine, coffee, and tea, or if you often eat dark-colored foods, like blueberries and curry, then your bleached teeth will have a shorter lifespan, so to speak.
3. Avoiding certain foods and beverages can make teeth whiter.
This is true. If you stay away from foods and drinks that can easily stain the tooth’s enamel, then you’ll have whiter teeth. But still, you can indulge in coffee and chocolate, or dark sauces and fruits that can stain your teeth. Just be sure to brush your teeth after eating. If you’re not home, rinse or gargle with water.
4. Eating certain foods can make teeth whiter.
This is also true. Some foods naturally whiten teeth because of the substances that they contain. For instance, the malic acid in strawberries helps in whitening teeth. Then, celery, pineapple and carrots increase saliva production, which then helps in cleaning the mouth and in inhibiting bacterial growth. Dairy products are good for the teeth too because these contain lactic acid, which helps in protecting teeth.
It’s Not All about Color
When it comes to dental health, color is not the only indication that your teeth are healthy or not. But if you think that your tooth discoloration is caused by dental problems, go to your dentist to discuss this issue with him. Don’t forget to ask him for advice about what you can do to have a better and whiter smile.
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Claire Patel is a full-time freelancer, and her blogs are usually about health and hygiene. She offers tips and information about healthcare and health resources, and some of her write-ups have been used by a renowned Cumming dentist.