Teeth Therapy: teeth whitening
Read more about cosmetic treatments for teeth in ‘Beauty: The Ultimate Cosmetic Makeover Guide. Book 2: Body, Teeth & Hair‘.
Teeth may become discolored with extrinsic stains (superficial stains found on the surface of the tooth) or intrinsic stains (stains formed deep within the tooth). Tooth discoloration can happen for the following reasons:
- Food and drink, especially the consumption of tea, coffee, red wine and/or soft drinks over a prolonged period. These cause extrinsic stains.
- Smoking (extrinsic stains).
- Tooth injury (intrinsic stains).
- Age. No matter how well you clean your teeth, they will eventually become duller as you age. This is due to intrinsic staining.
Should you whiten your teeth?
Not everyone’s teeth are suitable to be whitened. If your teeth and gums are not healthy before you whiten, the treatment can harm them. Even if there is nothing wrong with your teeth there may be other reasons why whitening is not appropriate. The best way to find out if your teeth are suitable for whitening is to ask your dentist.
Natural teeth whitening
Practising correct oral hygiene is a good way to make your teeth look whiter naturally. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day helps remove extrinsic surface stains from your teeth.
A natural toothpaste can be made by mixing baking soda, glycerin and water into a paste, along with a few drops of antibacterial (e.g. sage) essential oils. For instructions on making home-made toothpaste, see our recipes section, page 173.