Brighter teeth, healthier mouth – Rachel Pointer

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  Posted by: Dental Design      10th November 2018

Better-looking teeth are not only achieved by cosmetic means – or by taking a trip abroad to have treatment, as one Love Islandcontestant admitted he did before joining the popular reality show this summer. Instead, dental practitioners can give patients practical, proven tips to do at home. ‘Proven’ because the internet is awash with home remedies for whitening that, despite the hype, often have negligible results. At best, these will only remove surface stains and not change the colour of teeth, if they have any impact at all. Also, the over-the-counter whitening market may be huge and growing,[i]but the long-term effectiveness of some of these products has also been debated[ii].

Patients on a budget must avoid the temptation of whitening kits that can be purchased online without having to consult a practitioner – adverse effects include irritation of the gum, increased sensitivity or worse. There have also been many cases of unregistered beauty therapists performing whitening treatments, with disastrous results. In early 2018, a BBC report filmed a beautician performing illegal whitening using hydrogen peroxide at 25 per cent strength – the legal strength for registered dentists in the UK is just 6 per cent.[iii]If patients want to go down the professional whitening route, the first stop should be to their regular dentists for either a consultation, or a referral to a practice that provides treatment.

But there is much our patients can do at home, for free, like avoiding drinking too much tea, coffee and other highly pigmented drinks. Anything classed as acidic, like carbonated drinks, citrus fruits and alcohol is also bad news. If a patient does not want to eliminate fizzy drinks altogether, moderation is key, or they should drink a glass of plain water after imbibing – recommend they do the same after drinking alcohol, too. A long-term smoking habit will also give teeth a yellow-brown hue.

Abrasion is a reason for discolouration and enamel losing its whiteness and gaining a dull appearance. Tooth wear is on the rise especially among 16 to 24-year-olds.[iv]Isolating the causes can be difficult, as it is often multifactorial. Other mechanical actions that can discolour the enamel include over-zealous brushing. Scrubbing the teeth will not make them whiter, in fact it can have the opposite effect. Teach correct, gentle brushing with the correct tools, such as brushes and interdental brushes from TANDEX. Its range is complemented by quality adjuncts, such as the non-abrasive anti-bacterial GEL with chlorhexidine and fluoride to prevent plaque forming.

A proper brushing routine, combined with regular appointments, will keep the mouth healthy and the teeth clean and bright. Patients must not underestimate the importance of visiting a hygienist either. A regular professional-level polish, combined with a good home routine, will remove the plaque that can cause discolouration.

Who needs expensive veneers? Patients must know there are easy and inexpensive ways to improve your smile without needing to visit a cosmetic dentist. With your support, then can make the most of their smile so it looks and actually is in the best health it can be.


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[i]Business Tactics. Global teeth whitening products market analysis 2018. Beyond, Unilever, Trident Gum and Henkel. Posted 3 July 2018. Link: July 2018). 

[ii]Demarco FF, Meireles SS, Masotti AS. Over-the-counter whitening agents: a concise review. Brazilian Oral Research. 2009 Jun; 23:64-70.

[iii]Illegal teeth whitening caused ‘excruciating pain’. BBC, 5 February 2018. Link: 4 July 2018).

[iv]Why young people are losing their tooth enamel. iNews, 5 October 2017. Link:

(accessed July 2018).

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