Dental Health

Tooth Truths: Whiter, Cleaner or Healthier?

Sparkling white teeth are adorable and usually the dream of many people. We have gone above and beyond in search of a whiter smile. A simple Google search on ‘whiter teeth’ will reveal an array of suggestions and products to give a whiter teeth, such that in many cases the reader is left confused on what to choose.

One major reason why patients come to dental clinics is to get whiter teeth, but the big question is ‘whiter, cleaner or healthier, which is more important and what should you aim for?

Once again, let’s examine common myths surrounding this and learn the truth.

Myth 1 – if I brush extra hard, my teeth will be extra clean

In pursuit of whiter and seemingly cleaner teeth, people tend to subscribe to brushing extra hard and sometimes brushing after every meal. Some go for the extra hard brush generally called ‘smokers brush’ all in a bid to get whiter and cleaner teeth.

Truth: Ever heard that too much of a good thing is bad?

Layers of the Tooth

While brushing is very important in maintaining a good oral health, too much of it or using extra hard brush may be harmful in the long run. The outer covering of the tooth is called the enamel. Although it is the hardest substance in the body (stronger than the bone) constant use of a hard brush or brushing excessively could lead to wearing away of the enamel, in the same way, the sole of a good shoe wears off with extensive trekking on a hard tarred road.

The wearing away of the outer covering of the tooth exposes the sensitive part of the tooth called Dentin. This leads to sensitivity, characterised by the shocking sensation on taking ordinary water, cold water or even on exposure to air.

What then should we do?

It is recommended to brush twice daily for at least 2minutes each. Simple rinsing with water at other times after meals will suffice. Also, use of a hard brush is discouraged. A soft brush for children and a medium brush for adults is advised.


Myth 2 – Whiter teeth are healthier and better

The craze for whiter teeth keeps increasing by the day with a lot of media adverts showcasing whiter teeth as the ultimate in dental health. Do white teeth automatically mean healthy teeth and is it ideal for everyone?

Truth: Whiter teeth are adorable; however they are not necessarily healthier

It is important to note that teeth colour varies from person to person and from tooth to tooth.

Tooth colour depends largely on skin colour as it has been noticed that darker people tend to have whiter teeth, while fair skinned people tend towards yellower teeth. Also as one age, teeth become darker due to the wearing of the enamel over time as well as stain deposits

Teeth can become stained from tobacco use, excessive intake of coffee and in some cases, people are born with discoloured teeth ranging from slightly yellow to grey.

Whatever shade your teeth may be, aim to keep them healthy as a sparkling dentition may still harbour lots of cavities.

If discolouration is unsightly and has become a source of worry, seek dental care for possible whitening.

Keeping your teeth healthy can be achieved by appropriate self-care and having professional cleaning generally called Scaling and Polishing done every six months. This will ensure a mouth that is clean, healthy and free from disease or odour.

Yes, we now know that our aim should be healthy teeth.

Do you have a healthy mouth?

Do you brush regularly and properly?

Have you ever had scaling and polishing done?

Are you due for your next scaling and polishing appointment?

Your oral health is important to us, we like to get feedback from you.

If this was helpful, please leave a comment in the comment box below.


In the meantime, keep smiling!!!

PS: Remember to subscribe to our mailing list, to get new post delivered directly to your email once a post is published.

  • Was this Helpful ?
  • YES   NO
Dr. Eureka Orhorhoro
Dr. Eureka Orhorhoro is an amazing Dentist, with a strong passion for Health Care Advancement in Nigeria. She believes that the right information is crucial in improving Oral health care and she is ready to make a global difference. she loves reading, baking & cooking.

You may also like


  1. Another beautiful truth. Thanks Doc

  2. Nice

  3. Great piece…concise and well delivered… Thanks for the job well done

  4. Really helpful.Thank uu doctor

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *