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Got white teeth?

THERE is nothing that gives more self-assurance than a great smile, and on the other hand there is nothing more exasperating than having to conceal your smile because of yellow or stained teeth.

A great smile with pearl white teeth can arouse self-assurance a bad one can turn people off, as your teeth is the first thing people look at.

Having whiter teeth actually helps build a person's confidence as he finds his smile looks better and this will make him look better as well.

There are many reasons why teeth lose their "whiteness". It happens naturally as the mineral structure of your teeth changes over time and the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become discolored by smoking, coffee drinking, and even some antibiotics.

Do you think your teeth are not quite as white as they should be? Here are some steps to overcome it.

* Prevention

1. Avoid tobacco products.

2. Stop drinking coffee or tea (or at least cut back).

3. Pass on the grape juice. And that includes red wine!

4. Stay away from curry.

5. Brush your teeth immediately if you choose to partake in any of the items just mentioned.

* Whitening Toothpaste

1. Find commercial toothpastes with chemical tooth-whitening agents and use it regularly. Other teeth whitening products include teeth whitening strips and gels. Put these products onto your teeth repeatedly before you go to bed or at least 10 minutes in the morning before you rush off to work.

2. Make your own whitening toothpaste, but see the warnings first. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.

Peroxide and baking soda are great methods to use as a bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide forms cleansing bubbles that removes stains from the enamel. Wash your teeth with a wash of hydrogen peroxide after brushing. Or mix a pea sized portion of baking soda with your toothpaste to whiten teeth at home.

* Whitening Kit

Use a whitening kit according to package directions. You can look for an over-the-counter whitening product, or you can ask your dentist about professional whitening treatments. In general, use a whitening kit as follows:

* Brush and floss your teeth as usual.

* Insert the whitening gel (peroxide gel) into the mouth tray. Put a teardrop-sized quantity of the gel in each compartment. Use the same amount in each tooth compartment for uniform whitening of all your teeth.

* Don't apply too much gel. Avoid contact between the gel and the gums as it can irritate your gums.

* Leave the trays in your mouth for the recommended time in the kit's directions.

* Professional cleaning

Clean your teeth thoroughly. Get a professional cleaning if you haven't lately. You should get a professional cleaning every six months. A professional cleaning will remove stains from food and ensure your teeth and mouth are in good condition.

Having your teeth cleaned by a professional regularly is great preventative care to help you avoid many common dental conditions.

* Avoid food that will stain your teeth, like coffee, and soda. Smoking stains your teeth, too. Your teeth may be more sensitive to staining after using a whitening kit.

* Your dentist has additional teeth whitening options available, including whitening gels, laser teeth whitening, and even cosmetic, paint-on treatments.

Dr. Jaya from Bangsar Dental Surgery at Jalan Telawi, Bangsar, said an important fact people should understand about teeth bleaching is to bring down the colour a few shades and not turn the teeth white as expected.

"Those with yellow teeth are easier to bleach compared to grey teeth."

The most effective method is Chairside Whitening where the dentist apply gel on your teeth and use a special light to activate the gel in three 15 minutes interval.

"We also give patients a take home kit to apply for one or two weeks so the whitening effect is sustained.

Don't delay having a great smile. You can attain the wanted white smile in just days. Nothing makes a person look better and younger like a mouth full of white teeth.


How to whiten your teeth

Treatment for discolored teeth depends on the magnitude of the stain; remedies appear here in order of increasing intensity.

* Step 1

Brush and floss regularly to reduce or prevent stains.

* Step 2

Try whitening toothpastes. Though heavily advertised, these only partially whiten teeth and don't provide a complete remedy. Make sure the toothpaste has been clinically proven, as those which are too abrasive can damage teeth or make them very sensitive.

* Step 3

Get regular dental cleanings to remove food and tobacco stains. No amount of cleaning will remove the severe staining left by tetracycline or systemic disease because these pigments lie inside the tooth; you'll have to take more aggressive measures against these.

* Step 4

Consider the two options, in-office and at-home treatments, for bleaching your teeth. In the first option, a dentist coats the teeth with a bleaching agent and use periodic flashes of light to activate the solution. In the second, patients wear a mouth guard fitted with bleaching gel two hours a day for two weeks, depending on the severity of staining.

* Step 5

Think about getting veneers, which are custom-made shells bonded to the teeth with resins. This procedure often requires removing a small amount of tooth structure and is the most invasive, as well as the most expensive, treatment option.
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