We all aspire to have glamorous white teeth, but they never seem to look quite like they do in the movies. One key to white teeth is maintaining a healthy diet and good oral hygiene, but there is more you can do.
Our team of North Sydney dentists at McMahons Point Health have put together a handy guide to the causes of teeth discoloration and the methods available to whiten teeth.
Why Do Teeth Darken?
Some people have naturally whiter teeth than others. This can be caused by differences in the colour of the hard outer surface, named enamel, or the dentine underneath. Variations in thickness of enamel also make a difference, since thinner enamel allows more of the yellow dentine underneath to show through.
Variations in thickness of enamel also make a difference, since thinner enamel allows more of the yellow dentine underneath to show through.
If someone has more porous enamel, this will collect more stains and result in extra discolouration. This is where diet and oral hygiene come in.
Dietary Habits and Dental Hygiene
One of the main offenders for discolouration is smoking. While nicotine itself is colourless, when it combines with oxygen it turns yellow. The tiny pores in the enamel allow nicotine and tar deposits to form – turning the teeth yellow.
Quitting smoking is not only great for your overall health, but it will leave you with whiter teeth! Dark foods such as curries and liquids like coffee and red wine will also stain your teeth in the same manner.
Intrinsic vs Extrinsic
Stains from cigarettes, foods and drinks are called ‘extrinsic’ stains because they are on the surface. Such stains can be addressed effectively with whitening treatments. However, ‘intrinsic’ stains can occur when the tooth is discoloured from the inside – which can occur due to root canal treatments, certain medications, or physical trauma.
However, ‘intrinsic’ stains can occur when the tooth is discoloured from the inside – which can occur due to root canal treatments, certain medications, or physical trauma.
Consult a dental professional to address potential avenues to address intrinsic stains.
Teeth whitening that deals with extrinsic stains are called ‘vital whitening’. The whitening process usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes and the client may need multiple sessions with the dentist to achieve their whitening goals.
Dr Toulmin begins by polishing the teeth clean of plaque and food debris. She uses a protective substance on the gums before applying a whitening gel to the teeth themselves. The gel is activated with a light and refreshed about every fifteen minutes.
Get Professional Advice today!
If you aspire to have whiter teeth, then consult our friendly team at McMahons Point Health.