One of the first things a person observes about another is their smile, which is also the most memorable. Humans instinctively indulge in profiling; we tend to reach certain conclusions about people just by seeing their smiles. After that, we feel like we have acquired some information about the person’s health, wealth, genes, and hygiene. While you may try to deny it, it is true and backed by science.
What Is the Psychology Behind People’s Attraction to White Smiles?
Naturally, humans find a great smile mesmerizing. While what makes a great smile includes several factors such as its straightness and gingival display (how much gum can be seen), a person’s teeth color is a major contributing factor.
Animals’ ornament display refers to parts of their bodies that provide insight into the state of their health, genes, and growth history. A person’s teeth color usually reflects their composition and genetic, age, and dietary factors. Since these elements influence the condition of a person’s teeth, they serve as an ornament display. Animals that show top-tier qualities through their ornament displays have better advantages, which also applies to humans.
Generally, humans have the perception that a person with a white smile is more attractive, healthier, younger, and has good genes, and this has been proven by a study conducted by Leeds and Central Lancashire. Also, in the case of females, their teeth provide additional information concerning their reproductive advantage because it hints at the age of individuals.
What Are the Causes of Yellow Teeth?
As a person ages, yellowness of teeth is inevitable. While this might be because of the accumulation of consequential dietary habits, it is also a natural sign of aging since the enamel gets worn down, and more of the dentin is on display. Dentin is a significant part of a tooth found just below the enamel and is yellow.
So, sometimes your hands are tied, and your teeth’s hue is only natural, but other factors that can bring about discoloration early include
- Genes. The natural shade of people’s teeth differs; some have sharper and thicker enamel. It could be gray or even reddish-brown, and their teeth may be that shade because of their parents.
- Tobacco. Another reason you should cut down on or avoid smoking entirely is that smoking tobacco stains teeth.
- Medications. Medications like tetracycline, when given to kids below the age of 8, and drugs for managing high blood pressure can alter their teeth’ color.
- Excess fluoride. Fluoride, whether from the environment (tap water) or toothpaste and mouthwashes, is essential for maintaining healthy teeth, but it can lead to discoloration when used in excess.
- Food/drinks. Consumption of particular food or beverages greatly contributes to turning your teeth yellow. Drinks such as coffee, alcohol, soda, foods high in carbs, and even fruits like apples and berries can stain your teeth.
- Inadequate oral hygiene. When you fail to brush and floss as you should, it could lead to plaque formation. Plaque is an acidic substance, and the residue on your teeth could weaken the enamel.
If the color of your teeth makes you hold back every time you want to flash a smile, you may want to consider teeth whitening options. There are several methods to achieve teeth whitening. They include seeing an expert for an in-office teeth whitening or attempting it home remedies.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
The process of in-office teeth whitening usually begins with a dentist’s consultation where the doctor, using a chart, identifies your teeth’s current hue. After that, you discuss the results you want from the procedure. For in-office teeth whitening, a high level of hydrogen peroxide is used, which could be anything from 40-60%.
The teeth whitening process commences as the dentist polishes and takes out residual plaque from your teeth. After that, the chemical is applied and left to stay for about 45 minutes. The surrounding areas of your teeth are protected because the chemical touching anything else can have adverse effects.
Once the set time has been exhausted, the dentist rinses your mouth and may use fluoride to help you deal with sensitivity. After that, you discuss your after-care routine for the next few days, which will involve abstaining from certain foods and drinks. You may not get the shiny look you want for your teeth immediately. You need to give it like a week, and if you still don’t like the results, you should arrange for another appointment with your dentist.
You can try several methods at home to get your desired tooth color. However, these methods are not as quick and effective as the in-office professional treatment, and they also bear risks to the gum if you fail to use them correctly. You should always consult your dentist before indulging in home alternatives. These alternatives include
- Teeth whitening toothpaste. This toothpaste contains abrasives and, sometimes, chemicals like peroxide and are useful in removing surface stains caused by harmful dietary habits. They are not very effective in removing deeper stains or altering the hue of a person’s teeth. You should see results in 2-6 weeks if you use it morning and night.
- Teeth whitening trays. You could get over-the-counter trays or customized ones made by your dentist. These trays, which may contain whitening chemicals, or come with a syringe for you to apply it yourself, are used in pairs and usually fit the molds of your teeth.
- Teeth whitening gel. This gel usually contains peroxide and can be applied directly to the teeth. You may use them twice daily and leave them on for about 45 minutes each time. However, instructions may vary based on the chemical’s concentration. So, make sure to read the instructions carefully.
Having white, healthy teeth goes a long way in improving our daily lives, from boosting our self-esteem to improving our relationships with others. If you aren’t satisfied with the color of your teeth for some reason, go ahead and invest in the smile you’d like to have.