Teeth are an important part of our body. They not only help us in eating our food, but they also aid us in our speech, as well us giving structure to our face. Clean white teeth are a confidence booster and they help us socialise better. Yellow stained teeth on the other hand can be a source of embarrassment and can cause low self esteem in both adults and children.
Several things can help keep your teeth healthy and white. Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and evening, before going to bed. If you can stand it, do not rinse the tooth paste out with water, leave it so that it has a longer time period to work in your mouth. Floss once a day and gurgle mouth wash between meals. Practice tongue cleaning by using a tongue cleaner or a soft-bristle toothbrush, stroking in a back-to-front direction. Tongue cleaning is particularly important for people who smoke or whose tongues are coated or deeply grooved.
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that you have healthy, whiter, cleaner looking teeth is to have regular appointments with your dentist and or dental hygienist, at least every six months. Your dentist can clean your teeth and get rid of stubborn plaque, as well as catching cavities before they are too big. This will aid in overall good oral hygiene. The dentist can also get rid of rough spots on your teeth which can collect stains.
Eating crunchy foods for instance raw carrot sticks, celery sticks or broccoli helps to keep teeth clean by rubbing on them and preventing the build-up of plaque.
Certain foods are also notorious for causing stains on your teeth, and these should be avoided or consumed very sparingly. These include curries, coffee, grape juice, wine, tea and rasp berries among others and foods high in sugar as they help plaque to grow. A clever way to drink tea or coffee is by using a straw, as this reduces the contact the drinks have with your teeth. This will ensure that your teeth stay whiter and healthier looking.
Smoking is also known to significantly affect oral health, from bad breath, discoloration of teeth and gum disease to oral cancer.
Teeth whitening is not a medical procedure as it does not result in healthier teeth but it can result in whiter teeth and a brighter smile. This in turn can make people feel better about themselves.
Clinical trials have been conducted that demonstrated significant whitening effects for low-gel, 14% hydrogen-peroxide whitening strips. In this study, whitening was evident after 3 weeks of use, as shown by significant improvement in measured colour parameters.
Treatment is generally well tolerated although some tooth sensitivity can be experienced within the first 3 weeks, but which tends to resolve itself as treatment goes on.
There are two types of teeth whitening:
Bleaching your teeth changes the color of the tooth enamel and removes both surface stains and those deeper in the teeth. Your dentist can bleach your teeth at his or her office, or you can do it yourself with a kit your dentist gives you or with a kit you buy over the counter. The chemical used to bleach teeth is generally carbamide peroxide. Different products use different concentrations of this chemical.
Whitening toothpastes use an abrasive material that works by scraping off surface stains and polishes the teeth.
The dentist often combines bleach with a laser or light to speed up the process. A visit may take anything from thirty minutes to an hour and you may be required to have more than one treatment. Your dentist will protect your gums with a gel or shield and then put the bleaching agent on your teeth. As the dentist is present to watch how it is used, they may use a stronger bleach concentration than the one they give to do yourself, or which you buy over the counter.
Your dentist may also give you a kit with a mouthpiece and gel containing the bleach. Your dentist may make a custom mouthpiece to fit your teeth. These kits usually use a lower concentration of bleach than if the dentist was doing it. Your dentist will tell you how often to wear the mouthpiece and for how long.
An over-the-counter kit is similar to what your dentist gives you. The bleach concentration, how you use it, and how long you use it varies between products. For example, some products use a mouthpiece and others use strips you lay across your teeth.
Whichever method you use will depend on how much time and money you wish to spend. Over the counter whitening products are affordable, plus they offer you the chance of doing it in the comfort of your own home. You need not spend too much to get the best quality in teeth whitening. Whiter teeth do make people more appealing, positive and radiant.
Catherine Njau has worked in the Health Care Industry for the last 9 years, working with Disabled Children and Adults with physical impairments, learning difficulties and Mental health problems.
Whiter teeth are a positive way to boost your confidence. For more in depth information on how you can achieve the smile you have always wanted, go to