Should I Whiten My Teeth?
Teeth whitening has become a popular way to brighten and enhance our smiles without undergoing any major dental procedures. Keeping up with your oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day and flossing once, can reduce the appearance of stain and/or tartar buildup (which appears yellow). There are different types of whitening treatments available, both over the counter and in-office, that will help achieve the results you want.
Why did my teeth change color?
- Certain foods and beverages we consume can result in discoloration for a few reasons.
Some have intense color pigmentations that attach to the enamel. Tea and coffee are two of the main culprits. Suppose you are consuming food or beverages high in acidity. In that case, you will notice erosion over time, exposing more of the underlayer of the tooth. When the underlayer of our teeth called dentin shows, our teeth can appear more yellow.
- Tobacco can also create stubborn stains, mainly due to tar and nicotine.
- Age is a contributing factor, as well. Due to the food we consume or how we brush our teeth, our enamel wears away over time, causing a yellower appearance.
- Trauma to individual teeth over time can cause discoloration due to injury to the nerve
- Medications, depending on when you were exposed to them, can cause a permanent change in the shade of the teeth. Tetracycline is a great example.
What are my treatment options?
- In-office whitening is one of the most effective options for whitening. Products, such as Zoom, are offered to those that are looking for same-day results. Patients will notice an improvement of at least 2 to 3 shades after they leave the office. There are some restrictions that patients will be advised on. For those that have sensitive teeth, we recommend the use of sensitivy toothpaste before treatment.
- Take-home whitening is a great cost-effective option for those that are looking for a quick touch-up before a special event or just in general. Custom trays are made for the patient and they are sent home with syringes of whitening solution they apply themselves. Since the bleaching compound’s concentration is lower than the in-office whitening, patients tend to have less sensitivity. Results can vary.
- Over the counter bleaching options such as Crest Whitestrips are a popular, cost-effective option. This is great for those who have a lot of sensitivity but want to brighten their smile.
- Stain removal toothpaste are the most conservative option. These whitening toothpaste mostly remove any extrinsic or external staining of the teeth primarily caused by the food and drinks we consume. These kinds of toothpaste tend to be more abrasive. Although they are fantastic at removing stains, some have complained that they experience increased sensitivity.
- Internal bleaching is a fantastic option when one of your front teeth has been discolored due to trauma. Initially, after this trauma is discovered, the tooth will most likely need a root canal.
- If the tooth is mostly intact, this can be a conservative approach to regaining the tooth’s coloration without completing a dental crown.
Is whitening an option for me?
It is essential to come and talk to us if you are interested in whitening. Based on your goals, different options might be best for you. We discuss your level of sensitivity and the reason behind your interest in whitening to navigate you to your ideal course of treatment.