When your once bright smile becomes dull and discolored, you may suddenly find yourself embarrassed to smile. You do everything you can to hide your teeth from those around you, giving tight-lipped smiles or hiding your mouth behind your hand when you laugh. These might not seem like a big deal, but hiding your smile can be just as bad as smiling with discolored teeth. Others take notice, and it can impact the impressions you leave. At A Smiling Heart Dentistry, we can help to restore the bright white color to your smile with whitening.
Causes of Tooth Discoloration
While your teeth are naturally bright white in color, there are many different factors that can cause them to become dull and discolored. Common factors include:
|What you eat and drink. Certain types of foods and beverages, including dark berries, wine, coffee, and tea, all contain high concentrations of dark pigments that can cling to your teeth and cause stains.
|Tobacco products. Tobacco products contain numerous chemicals. Tar and nicotine are both responsible for stains. Tar is a naturally dark substance that can lead to dark brown stains. Nicotine is colorless until it is exposed to oxygen. Then it turns yellow. This yellow can discolor your teeth.
|Certain types of medications. Some medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can lead to tooth discoloration.
|Aging. As you get older, your tooth enamel thins, which leaves the darker dentin layer underneath more visible. As a result, your teeth begin to look more yellow.
Can I Use at Home Whitening Products?
You may have noticed there are several different whitening products available in the oral care aisle of your local store. These products include toothpaste, gels, strips, and more. While you can use them, these products contain very low levels of bleaching agents. They may take many weeks to see even small results, and they cannot provide the drastic results many are looking for. They may, however, be a good option if you are only looking to eliminate minor surface stains.
Professional Teeth Whitening Options
There are two ways in which we can help you to whiten your teeth. One option is an in-office procedure, also called chair side whitening. With this option, you will need only one appointment, which will take about an hour of your time. After your teeth are cleaned, a whitening gel is applied to the surfaces of your teeth. A special light is shone over your mouth. The light is used to help enhance the results of the treatment. As the active ingredient in the whitening gel breaks down, it forms tiny oxygen bubbles that enter into your tooth enamel, clinging to stains and whitening them away. Results are noticeable immediately after your treatment is over.
Your other option for whitening is whitening trays. While there are over the counter whitening trays available, we can custom create trays just for you based on impressions of your mouth. We provide you with the trays and the bleaching agent, which is stronger than the over the counter bleaching agents. The trays are meant to be worn every day for one to two weeks. They can be worn twice daily for a few hours or overnight while you sleep. The trays help to hold the bleaching agent against your teeth. The exact amount of time you need to use the trays depends upon the extent of your staining and your goals. Results typically begin to become apparent after a few days.
Learn more about our dental technoligies
Professional whitening can help to restore the naturally bright white color to your teeth, enhancing the beauty of your smile and boosting your confidence. For more information, contact A Smiling Heart Dentistry today at (425) 558-9998.