Everyone wants bright, shiny, white teeth — a Hollywood smile that dazzles everyone we share our pearly whites with. Did you know that a dentist could help you with teeth whitening? They could help you achieve that picture-perfect smile you've always dreamed of. 

Why are my teeth not white anymore? 

As we age, our teeth naturally become darker and more yellow in colour. This is because of the dentine within the centre of the teeth — as we get older, the enamel surrounding becomes thinner, allowing more of the yellow dentine to show through. 

There are many other contributing factors as to why your teeth might not be as white now as they were twenty years ago. Your diet has a massive part to play, as do the foods you drink and whether or not you smoke. The amount of times you brush your teeth per day count, as does whether or not you regularly floss. Even the toothpaste and toothbrush you use could make the difference to how white your teeth are, and if you aren't taking care of them as you should be, you'll soon find they won't be quite so white anymore. 

How does tooth whitening work? 

When you head to the dentist to ask for tooth whitening, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, the whitening agent is usually a high concentrate of an oxidising agent, usually peroxide, and this will be applied to the teeth. If the agent touches your gums or lips, it could leave white, bleached stains behind. This often happens with at-home teeth whitening kits. 

The aim of the game is to use the bleaching agent to bleach the enamel of the teeth. Essentially what you're doing is trying to stop that yellow dentine within the centre poking through. 

Is tooth whitening bad for me?

Although any dentist will happily recommend you to get teeth whitening treatments if you are not happy with the colour or shade of your teeth, he/she probably wouldn't recommend that you have it done very regularly as repeated use of these harsh chemicals within your mouth can start to cause reactions. This is especially the case if you are using teeth whitening as a way to ignore other oral hygiene aspects, such as brushing or flossing. These things are more important. 

There are other things you can do to ensure your teeth are kept nice and clean, such as brushing regularly, flossing, and even making small lifestyle changes such as looking at the amount of alcohol you drink, or even what alcoholic drinks you drink. 

If you are considering the idea of having tooth whitening treatment, always get in touch with a certified dentist, such as those at Creative Dentistry, to find out more about it. Those at-home treatments you can get are not always as regulated as they should be and won't always give you the best results.