For lots of office workers, making presentations to colleagues, bosses and customers is one of the most challenging parts of the job. It not only entails preparing the content and working on presentation skills but also exposes one’s personality and personal appearance, not least the teeth. But don’t worry if your gnashers are little off-color, there are remedies that will have you smiling confidently every time you’re put on the spot.
Causes of yellow teeth
· Regular consumption of colored foods and beverages such as tea and coffee. These types of beverages tend to be acidic which eats into the tooth enamel making it thinner and thinner and our teeth darker and darker. These drinks also contain chromogen, a substance that eases the color into the enamel causing the teeth to yellow. Tannins in the beverages stick the yellow staining to the tooth surface. Other foods containing artificial colorings such as soft drinks, candies and sweets can also discolor the tooth surface. Such substances bind to the enamel and root canals or dark colored fruits such as strawberries and blueberries contain chromogen and tannins which have similar effects to tea and coffee. Not only that but acidity in the fruits erodes and thins the enamel, again leading to yellowing.
· Smoking – Cigarettes contain combustible substances such as sulfur which accumulates on the tooth surface and penetrates into the dentin, changing the color of the teeth.
· Age – As one ages, the natural enamel layer protecting the teeth thins exposing the yellower interior.
· Improper cleaning of teeth – Incorrect brushing and forgetting to floss leaves stubborn stains.
· Teeth abnormalities such as dark yellow or brownish yellow cavities and dead teeth that don’t have any blood to nourish them so they dull in color. In some people abnormal coloring is caused by a certain disease or medication. For example, tetracycline affects the color of teeth in the early years between the ages of three and twelve when baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth are formed.
Is teeth whitening the optimum permanent solution?
Teeth whitening is the first choice many people turn to when they want to tackle their yellow teeth. However, it is important to understand that teeth whitening is only a solution for those with healthy gums and teeth. Before going ahead, consult your dentist. Chemicals in teeth whitening products can cause irritation, burning gums and soft tissues in the mouth and leading to tooth sensitivity. If you still decide to take this course, it can be done either by a dentist or with whitening products you can buy and apply yourself.
But be aware that while teeth whitening can work for a while, it isn’t a permanent solution. How long the white teeth stay that way depends on the shade they were before the bleaching. If they were originally quite dark, they will probably return that way in one or two years. If they were only light yellow, the white smile may last three to four years, depending of course on your eating, drinking smoking habits and other factors mentioned earlier.
Easy ways to make yellow teeth whiter
· Whitening toothpaste – Toothpastes containing substances such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide can go some way to removing stains from the tooth surface. It won’t happen overnight but with continued use, the desired whitening will materialize.
· Whitening mouthwash – Overall properties of these products are similar to regular mouthwash but with the addition of hydrogen peroxide.
· Adjusting behaviours – Reducing or quitting smoking and avoiding dark beverages helps halt the yellowing process.
· Teeth whitening gels and strips – Various teeth whitening gels are available on the market. If selected, they should always be used in accordance with the instructions on the label. Results should start to be evident after a few days of use and the effect should last about four months. Teeth whitening strips are very thin and coated with whitening agents. The usual recommendation is to apply them twice a day for 30 minutes for around 14 days. Again, the whitening should become apparent a few days in.
To one degree or another, everyone’s gums and teeth are sensitive to chemicals. Be mindful that teeth whitening products can affect the health of your teeth and gums. They may cause teeth sensitivity or burn the gums and soft tissues of the oral cavity.
The whitening course that risks the least negative effects is behaviour modifications that reduce and eliminate factors causing tooth yellowing. Maintaining good oral healthcare with regular brushing, flossing and gargling with mouthwash and regular check-ups with your dentist every six months will not only maintain good oral health and strong teeth but keep yellowing at bay. That way you will always be able to smile confidently and your presentations will go well too.
Dental health is do-able. Krungthai-AXA Life Insurance customers have access to consultation services on preventive healthcare and nutrition matters. For more information, please visit https://www.krungthai-axa.co.th/th/WellnessConsultation
· Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital
· Phyathai Hospital