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These days  many people are becoming obsessed with brilliant white, movie-star smiles. People with white teeth are typically seen as more attractive, younger, and more successful (regardless of actual circumstances). While having white teeth is a fantastic goal, having healthy teeth is even better. 

Most people already know that seeing a dentist regularly is a great way to keep their smile healthy. However, you might be wondering if those same dental visits can help you attain a whiter smile. Let’s find out. 

Does a white smile = a healthy smile?

First of all, is a white smile and a healthy smile the same thing? In general, you can say that having white teeth is a sign of a healthy smile. After all, someone that brushes, flosses, and regularly cares for their teeth will generally have a whiter smile. 

However, it is possible to have a healthy yellow smile and an unhealthy white one. 

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Our natural tooth color isn’t really the white that we all dream of or see in the media. Tooth enamel is somewhat bluish and translucent, and the inner part of our tooth (called the dentin) is a little yellow. Together, they create the appearance of white teeth. 

As we age, tooth enamel thins, which allows more of the dentin to show through, making the teeth look more yellow. However, the teeth may still be perfectly healthy. 

Why regular teeth cleanings help keep your teeth looking white

Furthermore, over time, consuming dark-colored foods and drinks can start to stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, tomato sauce, and dark-colored sugary sodas are some of the biggest culprits

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However, professional dental cleanings are strong enough to remove some of these stains from your teeth. Plus, they remove the plaque and tartar that collect on your teeth. This is important because these substances harbor harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. 

How often should you get your teeth cleaned?

Most dentists say that people should get their teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The American Dental Association reminds us that not everyone’s dental health is the same, however, and patients should follow the recommendation of their dentist. People with certain dental problems may need to schedule their dentist appointments more often to maintain optimum health. 

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Oral diseases that can form over time might affect the look of your smile or breath

What if you’re not too concerned about getting your teeth professionally cleaned? Many people feel that flossing and brushing are enough, especially with a fancy electric toothbrush. 

A visit to the dentist is about more than just cleaning your teeth. Your dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening and examine your mouth for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or any other oral health problems. 

Dental issues can be sneaky. You might be putting people off with bad breath without realizing it and cavities can grow fairly large before you realize they’re there. You could even end up losing a tooth or suffering a severely damaged tooth when you stay away from the dentist. 

Find a dentist today and visit them to avoid these unpleasant issues.

Why regular visits are so important

The nerves in your teeth are encased in the tooth’s root. The layers of your tooth surround this sensitive interior, meaning that dental issues can grow painlessly for a time on the surface of your teeth. By the time you feel it, the disease has already penetrated to the center of your tooth. 

However, dentists can spot these problems long before you feel the pain. This makes it far easier to correct the issue and far less likely that you’ll lose a tooth over it. 

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Can dentists whiten your teeth?

At the very least, you might consider seeing a dentist for a whiter smile. A basic cleaning will rid your teeth of some food and drink-related stains.

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Plus, modern technology gives dentists powerful tools that can quickly and safely whiten your teeth. 

In-office tooth whitening can lighten your teeth by several shades in just one office visit. Alternatively, your dentist may send you home with a professional-grade at-home tooth whitening kit. When used strictly according to directions, you can safely experience noticeably whiter teeth within a couple of weeks. 

Ready for a whiter, healthier smile?

Taking care of your teeth is important, and not just for your appearance. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and may have other systemic effects on the body. 

Visiting a dentist is one of the best weapons you can wield in the fight against unhealthy (often discolored) teeth. Don’t have one yet? Use our tool to be matched with a dentist near you!

Due for a checkup?

Find a top rated dentist near you that takes your insurance.