If you’ve seen the video about women getting their gums tattooed black, you might think that they have a very different perspective of beauty than we do, but you’d be wrong. Although the practice seems foreign to us, it’s actually just another way to achieve the same effect we do with teeth whitening. The goal is to make the teeth stand out to make the smile more attractive.

Homemade Needles and Colors

The video showing the young woman from Senegal getting her gums tattooed is hard to watch. She starts out being afraid of the procedure, and then when it starts she screams and fights because of the pain. She originally planned on seven layers of tattooing to achieve the desired coloration of her gums, but she stops after four, saying “I would never recommend this torture to anyone.”

But to the woman performing the tattooing, the procedure is well worth it: “A nice smile attracts men. A nice smile with white teeth.” And that’s when it becomes clear that the goal of the procedure is not just to turn the gums dark, it’s to make the teeth look whiter and more vibrant. In a culture where teeth whitening is not readily accessible, this practice is a much more reliable way to achieve the effect.

Teeth Whitening Is Much Easier

dreamstime_xs_29826884And, of course, videos like this make us appreciate our ready access to teeth whitening, which is a much easier procedure. There’s no needles at all, just the painting of the whitening compound on the teeth. If even this causes you anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry to help you feel relaxed and comfortable in our office.

Some people do experience some minor sensitivity after getting their teeth whitened. If you do, let us know and we can take steps to reduce sensitivity so you can enjoy a beautiful smile with no pain.

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC cosmetic dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.