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    Say cheese! How to acquire an ideal smile

    Dental Health By Soma Das , Midday / Jan 11, 2011
    Say cheese! How to acquire an ideal smile

    A study at the Nordic Institute of Dental Studies says, whitening teeth may damage your eyes and skin. iTALK tells you how to keep your teeth in top shape, naturall

    ideal smileA study at the Nordic Institute of Dental Studies says, whitening teeth may damage your eyes and skin. iTALK tells you how to keep your teeth in top shape, naturally


    A great smile can make a face, leave another reeling under your impression. All you've got to do it think of celebrities like Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, Hindi film actresses Genelia D'Souza  or Katrina Kaif, and you'll get what we are talking about. Crooked, dull and yellowing teeth and cavities are the biggest hurdles in your search for a dazzling smile.


    Often, it's the junk food you gorge on, number of cigarettes your smoke and the cups of tea and coffee your down that decide what your smile will look like.


    Aesthetic Dentist Dr Sandesh Mayekar says, discolouration of teeth can be due to external factors like consumption of caffeine. This can be treated by polishing the teeth. Internal staining could be due to medicine or the presence of fluoride in water, common in certain areas like Rajasthan. This can be rectified through tooth lamination or pasting a false white coating.


    Dr Mayekar doesn't agree with a study that claims that whitening involving UV light bleaching, can affect your skin and eyes. "Though, the solution (hydrogen peroxide) used is pretty strong, it doesn't harm other organs," he says.


    Stay away from chips, Chivda


    Dr Mayekar sets aside chocolates, and names chips, biscuits and Chivda as your enemy number 1. They are all foodstuffs that lodge between your teeth and stay there. Make sure your gargle thoroughly or brush after eating these.


    How to prevent dental problems


    Experts advise the use of toothpastes that contain fluoride and triclosan, which is acid-resistant. In case you have crooked teeth, floss often and use a mouthwash. Visit your dentist every six months.


    Perfect smile needs healthy gums


    Dr Rohinton Bilimoria, Periodontist
    Gums are vital to a good smile. The proportion of the gums and teeth need to be balanced. Otherwise, you either have a gummy smile (gums more visible than teeth), or a toothy smile (teeth are very prominent). This could be hereditary or due to poor oral habits, medication or diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Cavities can also push back gums, leading to a toothy smile.


    How to fix it?


    A gummy smile can be fixed through crown lengthening (removal of gum tissue or bone to expose more of the tooth structure). A toothy smile may need an attachment of crowns and veneers (a thin layer of material is placed over the tooth surface).


    Visit a dentist if: Your gums are bleeding, swollen or you notice a change in their colour.


    Whitening teeth could damage eyes, skin: STUDY


    A study conducted by the Nordic Institute of Dental Materials, says whitening teeth with the help of UV light-enhanced bleaching could damage your eyes and skin. They found more exposed grooves on the enamel surface of bleached teeth, than on unbleached ones, making teeth vulnerable to mechanical stress.


    Spend  a couple of thousands for chakaachak teeth


    Dr Karishma Jaradi, Cosmetic and dental surgeon at Dentzz Dental Care Centre
    Dental treatments are on a case-to-case basis, and differ from specialist to specialist. Some commonly used methods to brighten teeth are:


    Dental bleaching (tooth whitening)


    Here, the size and shape of your teeth remain unchanged. A peroxide gel is applied to your teeth, then, ultra violet (UV) light is passed over them to activate the gel. It releases nascent oxygen that penetrates the enamel and lightens it.
    Time: Single sitting of 1 hour.
    Minimum cost: Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000


    Smile makeovers


    This helps treat imperfections in the shape and/or size of your teeth that may be overlapping, crowded, broken, ridden with gaps. Custom-made veneers or crowns are used to mask your teeth.
    Time: Up to 4 sittings.
    Minimum cost: Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000.


    Eat bananas and spinach for calcium, amla for gums


    Dr Richa Anand, Chief Dietician at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital

    • Calcium strengthens the teeth. Have 1 glass of milk a day and eat  a lot of ragi (finger millet).
    • Vegetables like spinach (palak) and bananas are calcium-rich making them good for tooth enamel.
    • Citrus fruits and amla have Vitamin C that helps strengthen the gums.

    Rub teeth with burnt toast: Easy, sasta ways to brighten teeth

    • Brush your teeth using a paste made from baking soda, salt and white vinegar for 2-3 minutes. Rinse your mouth with water, and brush using a toothpaste for another 2 minutes.
    • Massage your teeth with baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice. Rinse your mouth immediately to protect enamel against corrosion.
    • Wash your teeth with a mixture of mustard oil and salt.
    • Gently massage teeth with mashed strawberries, then with toothpaste.
    • Eat an apple daily; it's loaded with vitamins that are natural whiteners.
    • Gently massage your teeth with burnt toast and toothpaste.



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