From the red carpet to the smiles in magazines, pearly white teeth are shown as the pinnacle of health. But what if teeth aren’t actually meant to be white?
In a survey by the British Oral Health Foundation, close to half of Britain is unhappy about the state of their teeth. Sixty-four per cent of these individuals attribute the discontent with discolouration. With whitening treatment widely available, should everyone try to get their teeth as white as possible?
Pale Is Not Health
Short answer: white teeth do not mean healthy teeth. Teeth are naturally tinted. Asians, in particular, tend to have darker teeth than Westerners. A person’s skin colour plays a role to the whiteness of their teeth; it is the same pigments that give teeth their off-white shade.
In healthy teeth, the protective layer, the enamel, has a bluish tinge. The surface has a natural yellow tinge that shows through the enamel. Teeth in good condition are actually light grey or have a yellow tinge.
Why Like White Teeth?
Wanting pearly white teeth is not wrong. They’re beautiful to look at and admittedly, they just appear cleaner. Fortunately, dentists have been working hard to figure out ways to whiten teeth without doing harm.
Dee Kay Dental suggests that while many home whitening kits are available for purchase, consulting a dentist throughout the entire process will be safer for the teeth as well as guarantee the results. Many whitening products use bleach and strong, active ingredients. Under a dentist or hygienist’s close watch, the risks are minimised.
Benefits of white teeth
Despite having no clear links to oral health, having pearly white teeth does have its advantages. Smokers who undergo whitening can use it as inspiration to quit the habit. One thing that’s quite hard to put a value on is the confidence people gain by having cleaner-looking teeth. For people particularly unhappy with their teeth colour, whitening can have more than just a cosmetic effect.