Having white teeth has become a very desirable attribute. Many patients enquire about teeth whitening procedures, however at Hill Bayford & Associates we would rather promote an understanding of the factors that lead to whiter teeth, before undergoing any procedures. There are three main factors that play an important part in white teeth.
- Genetics: Genetics has a big influence on determining how white your teeth are. Your complexion, skin tone and type of teeth are significant factors in how white teeth can look.
- Oral Hygiene: Incorrect brushing technique and lack of flossing can cause tooth discolouration.
- Foods/Drinks: Many peoples’ guilty pleasure of having a glass or wine or a hot cup of tea/coffee at the end of the day can unfortunately also cause tooth discolouration.
How can I make my teeth whiter?
- Brush and floss: Improper brushing and flossing techniques can cause plaque to stay on your teeth which can not only cause your teeth to look yellow but can also cause redness or inflammation of your gums. Over- brushing or brushing too hard can also cause your enamel to wear exposing the dentine underneath, which has a yellow colour. There is an art to brushing and flossing correctly! If you need further guidance on how to become a brushing artist, come speak to us.
- Minimise colourful, acidic foods/drinks: If you think of your teeth as a clean, white tablecloth then it makes sense that consuming any intensely coloured food and drink can cause stains! Acidic drinks particularly soft drinks, wine and juices can cause acid wear of the enamel on your teeth causing them to look yellow. Similarly foods such as berries, sweets and sauces (tomato, soy and curry) can also have a staining effect. Drinking through a straw when possible, rising your mouth with water and chewing sugar-free gum after consuming these foods can help minimise the effects.
- Regular dental scale and cleans: Even if you have mastered the art of brushing, over time teeth will still get some tartar build-up (or calculus). This is commonly found on the inside of your lower teeth but also can be found underneath your gum line. Not only does it look yellow and unsightly, but it can cause serious and permanent gum disease if not cleaned properly. We recommend getting a scale and clean every six months.
- Teeth whitening procedures: If you are a non-smoker, who eats well and brushes and flosses regularly yet you still feel your pearly whites are not as white as they could be then we are more than happy to explore teeth whitening options with you. At Hill Bayford & Associates we offer home whitening kits which we believe is the safest and most cost-effective option for teeth whitening. We do not recommend ‘ultra violet light whitening’ as we feel that there has not been enough long term research conducted regarding the effects of this process. It is important to note that no teeth whitening options are lifelong so it is likely that the treatment will need to be repeated at some point in the future. Contact us for a chat about your teeth whitening desires!