We all like to wear one Pretty smile. However, in some people, the fixation to get whiter teeth can lead to an obsession known as whiterexia.
Teeth are not white
Despite what one may think, the the natural color of the teeth is not white. It looks more like Ivorywith more or less intensity and some shades or tendency towards a certain range (brown, grey) depending on the person.
“The color of the teeth mainly depends on genetic factors and our lifestyle”, explains Dr. Óscar Castro Reino, president of the General Council of Dentists.
- He smokinghe teahe coffeeabuse cola soda or even go on a diet with excess pigment (for example, with a lot of tomato or carrot) can stain the teeth. Also tetracyclinean antibiotic commonly used in children decades ago, can blacken teeth.
Besides, “as we age, teeth darken“explains the doctor.
Social media pressure
“We live in an increasingly hedonistic society, in which the body, beauty, feeling good about yourself in order to pass it on to others is a priority.says Dr. Castro.
This makes aesthetic treatments have increased dramatically in recent years, and one of them is tooth whitening. In fact, as Dr. Castro says, “East one of the most requested treatments in dental clinics”.
The volume of information and pressure we receive, mainly from social media, can lead some to develop a real obsession with aesthetics. “People are looking for models and references“, explains the president of the General Council of Dentists, “and the models they are looking for, in particular the young peopleare TV characters with very white dentures”.
However, often this “nuclear” white color is due to dentures or veneers and not to natural white teeth, because the chemicals used to whiten do not reach a certain shade which does not correspond to .
Risks of whiterexia
“Bleaching is a aesthetic treatment who must apply and control a dentistinsists Dr. Castro.
Trying to whiten your teeth without professional supervision can lead to using abrasive products that destroy the enamel.
- we are born with a specified amount of enamel (the transparent layer that covers the tooth). “Enamel does not reproduce or return when lost“, remember. As it wears away, the layer underneath appears, called dentin, which when exposed tends to yellow.
“Handling whitening products without a prescription or adequate medical supervision can be very dangerous for the patient’s health.“, Explain. In addition to destroying the enamel, they can occur cracks in the tooth, gum disorders either hypersensitivity.
Whitening pastes and home remedies
THE retail whitening products that are advertised on television or on the Internet (if they comply with the regulations of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products) are cosmetic products regulated by very low concentrations of bleach. Even though they promise to lighten up to nine shades, the only effect they have is interview.
On the other hand, the home remedies Yes they can be a great risk because they are based on very abrasive products such as lemon or bicarbonate. “The effect may be the same as if you took sandpaper and you sand your teeth remove a stainwarns Dr. Castro.
- The general council of dentists also warns of the risk of making homemade toothpaste with Ashes of the La Palma volcano (something that has become fashionable in recent months) because it has a high abrasive power and can damage the enamel.
Blancorexia is a problem similar to that which occurs in body dysmorphiaa disease that is part of obsessive-compulsive disorder and is characterized by a great concern for physical appearance which leads to exaggerating “defects” or physical characteristics and having a misperception of reality.
“Dysmorphies exist in all areas of our body and it is no longer an aesthetic problem, but a psychological problemsays Dr. Castro.
“When the patient asks for or demands care that is out of the ordinary, often our orientation is not only in the dental field but also in the psychological field and sometimes we have to tell him that his expectations are not in line with what may be obtained.says Dr. Castro. In some cases, it will be necessary to advise the patient to consult psychological help.