Show off that dazzling smile with these easy moves. By Yuen Yi Ying
Photo: Greyerbaby / www.pixabay
According to a study commissioned by Proctor & Gamble, those with dazzling ivories are more likely to get hired and score repeat dates. They are also viewed as more confident, professional and outgoing. Here’s what you need to do to get that winning smile.
1. How to get whiter teeth: Avoid coloured foods
It’s not just wine, tea and coffee that you have to watch out for, says Dr Lin Gengfeng, dental surgeon at T32 Dental Centre. They may be major culprits, but any food or drink that would taint a white sheet of cloth (read: curries, fruits and vegetables) could stain teeth, he warns.
Expert tip! It’s impractical to abstain from all coloured foods and drinks, so rinse your mouth with water soon after meals. Also avoid acidic drinks like soda or sports drinks, which erode tooth surfaces, making them rough and prone to staining. Those sips could also eventually dissolve the outer enamel and expose darker underlying dentine, says Dr Christina Sim, senior consultant at National Dental Centre Singapore.
2. How to get whiter teeth: Get rid of plaque
Dental plaque, a film formed on tooth surfaces by oral bacteria, can make teeth look yellow. Some of these bacteria are chromogenic, which means they carry pigments, explains Dr Sim. Now you know why some teeth are tinged green and/or orange.
Expert tip! Do what you’ve always been told: Practise good oral hygiene – brush and floss at least twice daily.
3. How to get whiter teeth: Watch what’s in your mouthwash
Be careful about the type of oral rinse you buy, says Dr Lin. “Some can stain teeth if used on a daily basis.”
Expert tip! Read your labels. Avoid mouthwash that contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridium chloride, says Dr Sim. They’re great at killing bacteria, but have the side effect of staining teeth. This discolouration occurs mainly on the surface and can be removed by scaling and polishing, so don’t miss your biannual dental visits.
4. How to get whiter teeth: Skip the home remedies
In general, home remedies tend to do more harm than good. Lemon juice, which is very acidic, can corrode teeth and thin the enamel, exposing the inner dentine layer and causing tooth sensitivity, says Dr Sim. Another popular DIY fix is rubbing baking soda on teeth. Although the powder is easily available, affordable, and “mildly effective”, it tends to be abrasive as well, says Dr Lin.
Expert tip! If you like taking matters into your own hands, get a take-home whitening kit from the dentist’s. He/she will customise two “whitening trays” that fit over your teeth. Fill them with brightening gel and put them on at your own convenience. Various concentration levels of whitening chemicals (from 10 – 35 per cent) are available. Generally, the higher the figure, the greater the efficacy, says Dr Lin.