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Brilliant white smile: what really helps with lightening
In films and on TV you can almost only see people who have perfectly white teeth. And in everyday life, too, you will meet more and more people whose smiles look like advertisements. So the question arises: how do they all do it? Experts have tips on how teeth whitening works.
White teeth as an ideal of beauty
Stars like Heidi Klum, George Clooney and Co in particular shine at us with porcelain-white teeth from advertising posters and from television. But more and more people from everyday life are also trying to emulate this ideal of beauty - often successfully. The teeth become discolored in the course of life. The increasing age plays a role here, but also various lifestyle factors. In a message from the dpa news agency, experts explain what the different methods of lightening really do.
Natural discoloration in the course of life
The tooth shade with which you are born is different for every person. It is genetically predisposed and becomes more and more yellow in the course of life. But some living conditions also play a role. The individual tooth color changes, for example, through the consumption of foods rich in pigment, such as red wine, coffee, black tea, beetroot or blueberries. "Such coatings are deposited in the enamel surface and are difficult to get down again," explained Helmut Kesler, dentist and board member of the Berlin Dental Association.
Toothpaste does not make teeth whiter than they are
So-called whitening toothpastes are said to whiten teeth by removing such deposits, but ultimately this increases the re-staining effect. "The abrasive components of such toothpaste usually only cause the teeth to become rougher and new pigments to accumulate," says Kesler. In addition, toothpaste can never make teeth whiter than they originally were. The managing director of the cosmetics commission of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Annegret Blume, warned against excessive use in the agency report: "Anyone who uses such toothpaste excessively risks attacking the teeth through too much abrasion."
Regular thorough brushing of teeth
Dirk Kropp from the proDente initiative recommends regular, thorough brushing as the most effective natural remedy for lighter teeth. Dr. med. dent. MSc. Thomas Jung, head of Dr. Jung Zahnklinik in Pfungstadt, in an older report, had some nutrition tips for a bright smile. According to this, hard foods such as nuts, apples and carrots or cheese can help keep your teeth healthy. Professional teeth cleaning in the dentist's office can have a whitening effect. There are also grants from around every second fund for this.
Bleaching effects can be disappointing
If all of this is not enough, there are only two options on the way to Hollywood laughter, according to the dpa report: bleaching or veneers. In the former method, the teeth are bleached with the help of chemical agents, usually hydrogen peroxide. It regulates exactly how much of it can be contained in the over-the-counter whitening strips or gels. "The European Cosmetics Regulation stipulates that a whitening product may contain a maximum of 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide," said Blume. However, the hoped-for brightening effect due to the low concentration can be disappointing, as Dirk Kropp explained. He also warned: "If bleaching strips are used improperly, chemical agents can irritate the mucous membrane, i.e. the gums."
Costs up to 1,000 euros
Whitening at the dentist's office excludes such disadvantages, but is also correspondingly more expensive. Depending on the practice, Kesler estimates the costs at up to EUR 1,000. The teeth are treated in the visible area of the upper and lower jaw. "I apply an oxygen gel and irradiate my teeth with a lamp," said Helmut Kesler. "The light activates the oxygen, which has a bleaching effect." However, bleaching is not an option for all patients. Against this speak inter alia periodontitis, fillings in the anterior region or teeth treated with root canals.
Blend discolored areas
Then only veneers could help. "These are ceramic shells that are glued to the tooth," explained Kesler. To do this, the tooth has to be sanded down a little beforehand, then the veneer will bleach discolored areas. The dentist estimates that there are costs of 600 to 700 euros per tooth. If all of this is too much effort, too expensive or too risky, you should take an example from Jürgen Vogel. The charismatic German actor likes to show his laughter and often - despite teeth that are not quite perfect. (ad)