We all want a smile that looks white and healthy. Whiter teeth can brighten your appearance and give you increased confidence. But why are teeth white — and what can you do about it if they appear less than sparkling?
The Color of Teeth
Teeth have different layers that give them the appearance you see on the outside. The outer layer, known as the enamel, contains a component of calcium, which tends to be white in color. But, the whiteness of enamel is sometimes out of your control. Some people are born with whiter, thicker enamel and may simply be blessed with great looking teeth. This is not necessarily an indication of how healthy teeth are: it’s just genetics.
Beneath the enamel lies the dentin, or the which is usually yellowish. If the white enamel gets thinner with time, more of the yellow dentin will show through — and teeth look less white overall.
To help keep teeth looking youthful and white, treat enamel with care so it stays thick and healthy. Brush gently with a soft toothbrush twice daily, floss, and see your dentist every six months. Also pay attention to acidic foods and drinks such as coffee and citrus fruits. These can wear down enamel over time, especially if you brush teeth vigorously right after consuming them.
If you were born with less-than-white teeth, there is hope! Your dentist can talk with you about whitening options that may correct the issue. In addition, porcelain veneers are an excellent option for people who have discoloration or cosmetic issues.
Even the best cared-for teeth end up with stains from dark-colored foods and drinks. These stains can go deep below the surface of the enamel, making them difficult to treat. Surface stains can often be removed during your routine dental cleaning, but more complex stains may require more power.
Although over-the-counter whitening options can remove some of these stains, they can have unwanted side effects such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If your teeth are stained, the safest and most effective way to get a whiter smile is to talk with your dentist about whitening options that will fit your needs and lifestyle.
The bottom line is, if you want a white smile, your dentist can help you find a way to get it. Today’s whitening and cosmetic dentistry options are safe, comfortable, and extremely effective. Don’t just wish for a whiter smile – make it happen! Call the office of Dr. Craig Armstrong to learn more today!