oral cancer

The first thing you notice about others may be their smile. A good smile with an almost perfect set of white teeth is a confidence booster.

Multiple factors cause teeth to look dull and lose their shine as you age. Frequent drinking of tea, wine, and coffee, for example, as well as smoking, can cause discoloration, or the hard enamel may erode, revealing the dentin. As a result, many people undergo the dental procedure of teeth whitening or bleaching for a brighter and whiter smile.

According to Dr. Gwendolyn Amarquaye-Bayitse, resident dentist of Pepsodent Time With the Dentist, “Teeth whitening is the process of making the teeth whiter than their natural color. If done by a qualified dentist, it is very safe and does not involve drilling of the teeth or any other extensive surgical process.”

However, teeth whitening may not be the right dental procedure for you because it may not respond to conditions such as discoloration due to staining from tetracycline medication. The bleaching material will also not work on materials like fillings and prostheses like crowns.

Dr. Amarquaye-Bayitse gives these tips to consider before you undergo any teeth whitening procedure:

1. Visit the dentist for the right teeth whitening option

Your dentist will examine the teeth to find out any cause of teeth discoloration and recommend the right whitening procedure. There are different ways of whitening the teeth or changing the color of a few teeth that may have discolored for one reason or the other. It’s also important to have your teeth cleaned by the dentist before the whitening process.

2. Be mindful of local home remedies
Some of these will only remove stains but not necessarily change the color of the teeth. Get clearance from your dentist as information from the internet may not be authentic.

3. You must have healthy teeth and gums
If you have gum disease or sensitive teeth, you may have to hold on to whitening your teeth until these conditions have been addressed. Once you’ve had your teeth whitened by a qualified dentist, you may have to be careful with the intake of certain foods and drinks like coffee and wine, which can easily stain the teeth.

There are teeth whitening toothpastes like the Pepsodent Charcoal you can use to maintain your whitened teeth. If you would like to whiten your teeth make sure to visit a dentist and follow the guidelines before and after whitening.

Time with The Dentist is a dental TV show by Pepsodent in partnership with the Ghana Dental Association. The show seeks to educate Ghanaians on basic oral hygiene routines, how to care for the teeth, and some myths and facts associated with maintaining good oral hygiene among others.

It airs weekly on GHOne TV and other Accra-based television stations.