easy ways to keep teeth white

Many people want a white smile for appearance, but discoloured teeth can also be a sign of plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and other problems if it's not treated.[1]

Read these tips to find out how to keep your smile naturally white and how dentists can restore lost whiteness with cosmetic treatments if you so choose.[2]

Avoid sources of stains

Food and drink with strong pigmentation can sometimes leave traces of these pigments behind on teeth surfaces, especially if your teeth have already been eroded by decay.[2]

Common culprits for teeth stains include coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks, berries and beetroot. Smoking can also discolour the teeth.[2]

Injuries to teeth and side-effects of certain medications can also cause tooth discolouration.[3]

Follow good oral hygiene

Plaque is a film of bacteria that can build up on the teeth and cause them to darken, as well as lead to tooth decay and cavities over time. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste helps to keep plaque at bay.[1]

You can also limit the build-up of plaque by flossing your teeth daily, avoiding food and drink with a high sugar content and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and teeth cleaning.[1]

Teeth whitening treatments

If your teeth are already stained or discoloured, you may be able to restore natural-looking whiteness through a teeth whitening treatment. It's important to be aware that teeth bleaching is a cosmetic treatment and will not improve your oral health, so if you have plaque, tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist will recommend treating these first as a priority.[2]

Your dentist will let you know if you're a suitable candidate for teeth whitening during your consultation. You may not be eligible if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your teeth are too sensitive or they have cracks. If you have dental work such as crowns or fillings, these won’t be affected by bleaching treatments.[2]

Your dentist will make sure you understand the possible risks and side-effects of teeth whitening so you can choose whether it's right for you. Some people find that their teeth become more sensitive and their gums feel irritated after treatment, but this is usually temporary. The risks will be higher if your treatment is not carried out by a qualified dentist or under their guidance.[2]

Dental veneers

If you're not a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, or you prefer another option, your dentist may also discuss a veneers treatment. Veneers are thin laminates made of porcelain or composite resin that can be bonded to the front of teeth to alter their appearance. As well as covering up stains and discolouration, veneers can also straighten slightly crooked or gapped teeth.[4]

A small amount of the tooth surface needs to be removed before veneers can be placed, which can sometimes cause teeth to feel more sensitive afterwards. It's important to choose a qualified dentist for your veneers treatment, as poorly fitted veneers can cause jaw pain or bite problems.[4]

Find out more about cosmetic dentistry in Noosa

If you want to know more about teeth whitening, veneers or preventive treatments to help your teeth stay naturally white, contact our friendly team at Tewantin Dental Centre.

Call (07) 5447 1361 or make an appointment online at our Noosa dental clinic.

References

[1] Healthdirect. Teeth cleaning [Online] 2018 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/teeth-cleaning

[2] Healthdirect. Teeth whitening [Online] 2018 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/teeth-whitening

[3] Better Health Channel. Teeth and medication [Online] 2017 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/Teeth-and-medication

[4] Healthdirect. Veneers [Online] 2018 [Accessed February 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/veneers