Know Your Teeth Better

A very few people other than dentist know that our teeth consist of three layers. First is the hard outer layer known as enamel. Second being dentin the tissue which is below enamel. Pupil is the center that contains the nerves and blood supply. There are two types of stains on teeth: extrinsic stains on the enamel and intrinsic stains in the dentin, which show through the enamel.

A change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference in almost anyone’s smile. The goal should be to achieve your individual optimum whiteness while still looking natural.

Common Causes Of Discoloration

Use of tetracycline antibiotics and excess fluoride during childhood may cause teeth to become discolored.

Food, drink and smoking can also be one of the reasons. Anything that stains white clothing, such as red wine or coffee, can cause extrinsic stains.

Teeth–as part of the normal aging process–get darker as the enamel becomes thinner.

Poor brushing habits. Brushing your teeth too vigorously with a hard-bristled brush or with abrasive toothpaste may cause the enamel to wear thin. To be safe, look for toothpastes that carry the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

Few Simple Solutions

1. Floss

It is a tool that helps you floss hard-to-reach areas, and Aqua fresh Floss ‘N’ Cap ($3; at drugstores), a toothpaste with a handy floss dispenser in the cap.

2. Brush

Brush twice a day for two minutes each session.

3. Brighten at home

Rembrandt 2-Hour White Kit ($20; rembrandt.com); Crest White strips Premium ($35; at drugstores), peroxide-covered strips that stick to teeth and provide a whiter smile when worn an hour a day for just seven days; and Smigel’s own gentle Supersmile Whitening Accelerator System ($30; super smileusa.com), with a whitening gel and toothpaste.

4. Ask Your Dentist

Seek professional help. Visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning to remove extrinsic stains. Dentists also can perform professional bleaching, which lightens teeth several shades in one to two hours for $500-$1,200.