Brushing and flossing are everyday ways to keep your bright smile, white and healthy. Even so, if you can feel that your smile lacks brightness or is more yellow than it used to be, you are not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they would most like to improve about their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that almost 90% of patients requested teeth whitening procedure.
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:
Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some of the main reasons why you could lose your white smile. What do they have in common? Pigments of intense color called chromogens that adhere to the white and outer part of your tooth.
One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. It can make your teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking. Often, smokers will have certain teeth that become darker than others due to their method of inhalation.
As one ages, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears out and exposes the natural yellow color of the dentine. Also with aging, the tooth establishes more dentin, which decreases the size of the pulp. This reduces the translucency of the tooth, which gives it a darker appearance.
If you have been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by depositing more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:
Stain Removal Toothpastes
All toothpastes help eliminate surface stains by the action of mild abrasives that clean the teeth. Look for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Acceptance Seal for teeth stain removal (indicated on the package). These toothpastes have additional polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness. Unlike teeth bleach, these types of products accepted by ADA do not change the color of the teeth because they can only remove surface stains.
This procedure is called armchair whitening and usually only requires a visit to the office. At Luxe Dental we apply a protective gel on your gums or a rubber protector to protect your gums. The bleach is applied to the teeth.
At-Home Bleaching from Luxe Dental
At Luxe Dental we provide you with a custom made whitening tray in the home. In this case, we will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for how long. This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with our the guidance. Whitening outside of the office can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products
You can see different options online or at your local supermarket, such as toothpastes or whitening strips to whiten teeth. The concentration of bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking of using an over-the-counter whitening kit, discuss the options with your dentist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means that it has been proven to be safe and effective to whiten teeth.