Dentist Debunks the “White Smiles Are Always Healthy” Myth
January 3, 2018
Picture a perfectly healthy smile in your head. Can you see it? We bet the first thing that came to mind was a set of shockingly white teeth, right? It’s easy to conflate the health of the teeth with their color, but according to your dentist in Lincoln, a white smile isn’t always a healthy one. There are numerous issues that can negatively impact your smile that won’t necessarily damper its shine, and today, we’re going to reveal a few of the most common ones.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone that surround the teeth. It’s actually one of the most common dental problems in the world, and it’s even the leading cause of tooth loss! What causes gum disease? A lack of oral hygiene. Even people who regularly brush their teeth often develop gum disease because they either don’t floss or never clean their teeth along the gum line. The result is that while the portion of the teeth that show look completely healthy and white, below, it’s a completely different story.
Bruxism refers to a condition where a person unconsciously clenches their jaw and grinds their teeth, and for most, this usually occurs while they sleep. This exposes the teeth to a tremendous amount of pressure, and over time, it can weaken the enamel to the point that it actually breaks. While bruxism impacts the strength and structure of the teeth, it often has very little effect on their color. The teeth can be white, but they’ll appear short, flat, and will probably be more sensitive.
Everyone wants to have a fantastically white smile, but sometimes people can be a bit overzealous in how they try to achieve it. Some believe that brushing really vigorously with a hard bristle toothbrush and a whitening toothpaste will keep their smile looking great, but in truth, all this does is damage the enamel and make it thinner.
This can also be the case if someone is overdoing it with whitening treatments. Leaving a bleaching gel or whitening strip on your teeth for longer than the instructions recommend won’t necessarily make your smile whiter, but it very well could damage your enamel and your gums. The end result of both of these approaches may be a white smile, but it will be very fragile and susceptible to decay.
How to Get a White And Healthy Smile
If you’re looking to achieve a smile that is both beautiful and healthy, nothing beats the basics: brushing twice a day, flossing once, and visiting your dentist in 68461 at least twice a year (or more if you have gum disease). These efforts will prevent your smile from becoming stained as well as protect them from the problems we listed above. And, should you want whiter teeth, your dentist can provide you with a safe, effective professional whitening treatment that will dramatically brighten your smile while keeping it strong.
In short, making sure that your smile is white isn’t the same as taking care of it. Consistent oral hygiene at home and routine dental visits are absolutely essential to getting and maintaining a smile you can always rely on, whether you’re showing off for the camera or simply enjoying your favorite foods. With diligent care, you don’t have to compromise—you can easily have the kind of smile you pictured earlier.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a general and cosmetic dentist based in Lincoln, NE who has been practicing for over 25 years. His number one goal is to give you a smile that has everything: health, beauty, and longevity, and he accomplishes this by providing truly state-of-the-art dental care every day at his practice, Pioneer Greens Dentistry. To learn more about all of the ways you can get your dream smile, please contact us today.
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