As a McLean dental office in which cosmetic treatments are the norm, saying that you may not want a Hollywood smile may sound counterproductive to business. There are times, however, when it is necessary to warn patients about going too far with their smile makeover, even if all that is being done is teeth whitening.
Often, a brilliant smile is translated as a beautiful smile. There is more to having an attractive smile than blinding people with brightness, though. At the very heart of your smile is the health of your teeth and gums. It doesn’t even matter if you have a gap or if your teeth are not perfectly straight (so long as they are aligned). What matters the most is that your teeth are in good shape. From there, we can build on what you have – just not too much.
The Pitfalls of a Too-White Smile
If you look at the smiles of every person you see today, you will notice that their brilliance differs. One person may have white teeth, while another may have teeth that are more of an eggshell or off-white. Thanks to Hollywood, and some really good marketing, we tend to assume that these different shades of white are attributed to general discoloration from foods and beverages or smoking. Not so.
The fact is, every person’s teeth develop to a certain shade of white. It’s simple genetics. What’s more, the smile is made more beautiful when we stick to a range that is near to that natural shade. Going “paper white” with the teeth may mean that your smile is thrown out of harmony with your complexion. A safe rule of thumb is to match your smile to the whites of your eyes. Then you still look natural and, yes, you look beautiful.
It isn’t only that a too-white smile makes you look, well, fake, but that too much whitening also degrades enamel. Individuals who are addicted to whitening strips may find that their teeth grow more and more sensitive and that they take on more translucency over time. This is because the acidity of the whitening product is wearing down enamel! Professional whitening gel, because it is stronger, can do the same, but faster.
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Be safe with your smile. Whiten only under your dentist’s supervision, and as directed. And . . . Know when to stop.