mayTeeth Coloration: Smile ‘White’!

All teeth have an inherent baseline color and by looking at the wide range of different shades of teeth on display, it’s easy to see that there is no “normal” color a person’s teeth are supposed to be.

We can however, keep in mind which cumulative effects and events stain and discolor our teeth and help mother nature keep our smile as white as possible.

Here are some factors, which cause teeth to stain and discolor:

  • Antibiotic tetracycline use before age 8 – Poor oral hygiene
  • Eating or drinking items that temporarily stain the teeth, such as tea and coffee
  • Infections and porphyria
  • Genetic defects that affect the tooth enamel, such as dentin genesis and gametogenesis
  • High fever at an age when teeth are forming
  • Severe neonatal jaundice
  • Excessive fluoride from environmental sources (natural high water fluoride levels) or overuse of fluoride rinses, tooth- paste, and fluoride supplements
  • Tooth decay and tooth trauma

What can be done to get those pearly whites?

  • Eat whitening foods:
    Apples, guavas, pears, carrots, sugar cane, cauliflower, and cucumbers, whose intake induces a high salivary flow, protect the teeth and offer a natural way to lighten your smile.
  • Use ‘Air Flow’:
    A Swiss technique which cleans coffee and tobacco marks by using air, water, and soda.
  • Have fillings:
    Your dentist can repair the damage caused by the decay by placing dental restorations like fillings and crowns.
  • Use paint-on teeth whiteners:
    Painted directly onto the surface of the teeth in a similar fashion as polish is brushed onto nails.
  • Brush with teeth whitening toothpaste:
    These toothpastes do not affect the natural color of your teeth but they may be effective at removing stains. Whitening tooth- paste may also help enhance professional whitening.

Coloration is one of the first steps to feel good about your teeth and to make a memorable impression every time you smile.

  • Apply teeth whitening strips:
    Whitening strips offer a means by which the teeth whitening process can be performed with- out the use of a rigid bleaching tray.
  • Whiten teeth at the dentists: with carb- amide peroxide teeth whitener.
  • Apply Porcelain Veneers:
    Stained teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening or prophyflex treatments can be greatly improved by dental veneers, which function to cover any existing stains on your teeth.
  • Fit crowns:
    used to whiten stained teeth that cannot be improved by veneers. Alongside crowns, they are permanent and costly solution.

How long will surgical whitening last?

The effects of whitening can last up to three years, but it varies from person to person. It is less likely to last if you smoke or consume products that can stain your teeth. Remember that whitening only works on natural teeth and not on false teeth like dentures, crowns and veneers.

How much does tooth whitening cost?

Whitening treatments are not usually covered by insurance policies and private charges vary with different practices.

The total treatment is usually completed within four weeks and prices usually range from 2500 to 3000RMB. At Joinway Den- tal clinic, with a 30% discount, the total treatment costs only 1750RMB.

Dr. Jane Zhang