In our society, sparkling white teeth are something that people would prefer to have. Whether that is just advertising is up to you, but the fact is, white teeth are seen as more attractive.
If that is the case, then how can we have whiter teeth? And what causes them to not be white in the first place? Is there anything we can do to prevent teeth from turning a yellow colour over time?
Before we answer that question, let’s first just get something straight, besides our smile! In Hollywood and advertising, almost all actors, actresses and models have had cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve the perfect smile. Dental veneers are very commonly used, along with whitening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures.
We mention this so you know that not having a perfect red-carpet smile is more normal than what you may have let yourself believe.
Three of the main causes of discoloured teeth however are:
1. Lifestyle habits
One of the most common causes of tooth discolouration is what people put in their mouths. Drinking coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and smoking tobacco are an example of things that contribute to staining your teeth over time, making your teeth a darker, yellowish-brown colour. Also, starchy foods like excess potatoes and pasta have been linked to tooth discolouration.
Although, the good news about this is that you can stop tooth discolouration and staining by simply ceasing to smoke or drink the items mentioned. Cutting out those items will likely have other health benefits too.
There are other causes of tooth discolouration, such as amalgam fillings, some medications, fluorosis caused by excess fluoride, or even just trauma such as being hit in the mouth during sports. Unfortunately, these causes cannot always be stopped like lifestyle habits.
2. Poor Dental Habits
By simply taking better care of your teeth, you can also limit the amount of discolouration. Not brushing and flossing each day can contribute to plaque build-up and an increased chance of food stains occurring too.
Poor dental hygiene practices are also likely to lead to other issues like gum disease, which is also linked to discoloured teeth. Regular dental check-ups would also fall into this category, as spotting minor dental issues before they cause bigger problems can help maintain whiter teeth enamel.
Again, preventing discolouration of your teeth is something you are in control of. We strongly recommend encouraging your children to take good care of their teeth, as mentioning that brushing helps keep your teeth white is a positive reinforcement strategy to create good dental hygiene habits.
3. Aging and Genetics
The last main factor when it comes to white teeth is the one that is not really something you can choose. That is the genes you are born with and the fact that as you get older, your teeth may become less white.
Some people are born with thicker and whiter tooth enamel. In this case, they are lucky that having a whiter smile is easier for them to keep hold of. As we age teeth will discolour, it is almost unavoidable. Although, following the above tips can help slow this down.
Can anyone have a whiter smile?
For those of you who would like to have a whiter smile, the good news is that yes, it is always possible. We would first encourage our patients to limit any teeth staining habits they may have in their life. Then we can discuss whitening, veneers, implants, or other dental techniques as part of a smile makeover.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening or any other dental procedure, please contact our friendly staff for a chat.