My colleague in the stockbroker’s office is a very pretty lady with a very attractive smile. Whenever she smiles, she displays the best looking set of teeth I have ever seen. However, she was not like this all the time. Once when I complimented her about her wonderful smile, she remarked that she have had her teeth straightened out by braces and had her teeth all cleaned and whitened at her dentist. While it was costly, it was worth it because she now has a million-dollar smile.
Indeed, all of us do wish to have a great smile, and pearl white shiny teeth that would sparkle in the sunlight.
But daily, we face quiet enemies that subvert our attempts to keep our teeth sparkling clean and white.
Foods and beverages cause stains on our teeth by sticking to the protective layer of protein that our mouths naturally coat our tooth enamel to prevent damage to the enamel layer. Apart from the temperature of the drinks we consume that causes structural changes over a long period of time, stains are an almost instant result whenever we consume food and fruits.
Fruits and drinks readily affect our teeth. These include berries, curries, red wine, colored soda drinks, and soya sauce, which easily stain your tooth enamel, leaving behind yellowish coatings or following the color of the fruit or juice that stains the enamel. Contact with carrot juice, for example, will stain your teeth a slightly yellowish.
Sticky foods also adhere more easily to tooth enamel. These cause a layer of stain over the top of your tooth, and allow other foods and drinks to stick to this layer that is formed.
While it is easy to go to the dentist and request your dentist to prescribe you a home based bleaching program that you can follow at home, dental treatments are costly, whereas over the counter treatments generally are way cheaper.
Most whitening methods work well on teeth which have yellowed, and some whitening can be done if teeth are brownish or greyish.
A visit to the pharmacy will allow you to explore a variety of dental remedies that you can carry out in the comfort of your home. These will include the application of bleaching strips, or bleaching gels and are much cheaper than a dental treatment.
While I appreciate that these bleaching agents do work, I have the benefit of observing that all my Indian friends have sparkling clean teeth with corresponding smiles. They have one secret, and that is their traditional habit of chewing the betel nut and leaves with an assortment of special spices.
We now understand that many teeth whitening processes involve rubbing your teeth with abrasive materials, but you want to avoid rubbing them too much, because if you rub off the top layer of your teeth, the tooth enamel, your dentine layer will be exposed.
Thus when my Indian friends chew the betel nut and the leaves, these materials rub against the teeth, and whitens them in the process.
For the person who is contemplating the application of a bleaching agent, it may perhaps be good to explore options from the bottom upwards. By this, he can first try to use home remedies. Most of these home remedies can help in the short term, using ingredients you have at home, such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.
Use caution and a soft bristle brush with home-made teeth whitening attempts.
After a few days of these gentle home remedies, you will find pleasing comments from your friends who will see the difference and the whitening effect of these home remedies on your teeth in your effort to whiten them.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your home remedies or your home bleaching program, then you will need to seek dental treatment.