The issue: Our teeth are starting to resemble our Great Aunt Doris who smoked a ten pack for a decade and had a particular penchant for red wine mixed with diet coke. In short, they’re not looking so hot.
The aim: To get teeth so pearly white they basically glow in the dark.
The solution: Go to the pros.
Which is why we’ve gathered not one, but three experts in the field to answer your questions on how to whiten teeth.
First up, celebrity dentist Dr Richard Marques, or The King Of Smiles to his friends.
Next, bringing the pro teeth whitening panel to a grand total of three, are professional dentists and sisters Dr Lisa and Vanessa Creaven.
Let’s get this teeth whitening show on the road.
What Causes Teeth To Turn Yellow?
‘Yellow teeth can be something you are genetically born with, or it can develop over time,’ says Dr Richard.
‘The main thing that causes yellowing of teeth is staining from smoking, black tea, black coffee and red wine. Yellowing can also be caused by the wearing of the enamel, which is generally whiter, and is caused by acids (such as those in fizzy drinks), teeth grinding and brushing the teeth too hard.’
Put simply, according to Dr Vanessa and Lisa there’s two ways your teeth can darken in colour.
1. Loss of enamel – this exposes the darker dentine layer through acidic erosion, over brushing, or brushing with abrasive toothpastes.
2. Pigmented food in your diet.
1. Change Up Your Diet
‘Try to eat whiter foods, such as chicken, rice and fish, and also drink clear or white fluids such as water and milk,’ says Dr Richard.
2. Drink Through A Straw
‘Drink through a straw to bypass your teeth if you are drinking something like a berry smoothie.’
3. Use A Whitening Toothpaste And Electric Toothbrush
‘A good electric toothbrush can be great to maintain or enhance the whitening process.’
4. Attend A Hygienist Regularly
According to Dr Lisa and Vanessa, ‘Attend your hygienist regularly to remove plaque and calculus, this will keep your teeth and gums healthy.’
Dr Richard’s advice? ‘Consult a professional dentist before getting this procedure done.’
Sounds obvious but it’s kind of key. ‘Teeth whitening is a complicated process that can damage teeth enamel permanently if not carried out properly using high-quality materials,’ continues Dr Richard.
So what are the options?
Dr Lisa and Vanessa say it’s all about the hydrogen peroxide: ‘You can have professional whitening provided at your dentist but this is not designed to be used too frequently. There are adjunctive treatments such as lasers and lights which enhance the process but it is the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide which achieves the best result.’
‘Hygdrogen peroxide breaks down surfaces stains and penetrates the very outer layer of enamel to lighten to overall shade of the tooth. It comes in gel or strip form like our Spotlight Whitening kit you can do at home.’
Is There Such A Thing As Permanent Teeth Whitening?
Yes, and no. Well more no…
‘Teeth whitening is never 100% permanent, however when done properly, it can last 2-4 years,’ says Dr Richard. ‘You will generally have top-up trays even if you do laser teeth whitening so you can always do a bit of extra whitening when you need in order to maintain the teeth.’
Does Teeth Whitening Damage Your Teeth?
As mother always said, everything in moderation people.
‘Using high concentration treatments too frequently can absolutely damage your teeth. We do not recommend this as dentists,’ explains Dr Vanessa and Lisa.
The bad news?
‘Using high concentration gels or strips without proper protection can indeed cause significant sensitivity and irritation to the gums which can put a lot of people off whitening their teeth’, says Dr Lisa and Vanessa.
The good news?
Dr Richard is a little more positive: ‘There can be very slight sensitivity from teeth whitening but this will always fade after the treatment.’ Huzzah!
This article originally appeared on www.elleuk.com