The Road to a Bright White Smile
The Main Causes of Discoloration
At Brocks Gap Dentistry, we want you to be happy with your smile. Whitening is one of the many services we offer that can help with just that. Discoloration in teeth can occur, in part, by using tobacco products, drinking red wine, dark sodas, or tea, or consuming other heavily pigmented food and drinks.
There are two types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are on the outside. These sorts of stains tend to stem from the above-mentioned causes of discoloration. Intrinsic stains are stains that are beneath the enamel of your teeth. These stains are sometimes related to aging since, as you age, the enamel can thin, allowing more of the yellow dentin underneath to show through. Certain antibiotics can also contribute to this, as stains can work their way in through cracks in your teeth.
The Many Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
There are at-home, over-the-counter remedies available. These include whitening strips, as well as gels, trays, toothpastes, and mouth rinses. Strips tend to be peroxide-based and are usually applied twice a day for a period of about two weeks. Trays make use of a mouth guard filled with a bleaching paste or gel that is placed on your teeth. Toothpastes only make about one shade of difference, and rinses, while they do make some difference, are even less effective than toothpaste or the other aforementioned methods, as the solution is in contact with the teeth for a shorter amount of time.
While over-the-counter whiteners can affect the whiteness of your teeth, we recommend in-office care because there are some issues and disadvantages with using over-the-counter whiteners. For starters, over-the-counter options do not provide the same strength or grade of whitening solution. Additionally, if at-home trays don’t properly fit your mouth, the solution can get on, irritate, and potentially damage your gums. With our help, we can ensure a perfect fit, and we take measures to protect your gums during the application of a whitening solution.
Whitening is not recommended for temporary teeth, as its application can lead to uneven coloring once permanent teeth erupt. Additionally, fillings, crowns, or veneers do not whiten as normal teeth would. Whitening, as well, should not be a substitute for needed treatments. If you have gum disease, cavities, exposed roots, or worn enamel, you should look into addressing these issues with your dentist.
The Facts About Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is not permanent. To help keep your teeth white, you should limit or avoid the following things:
- Tannin-heavy drinks, including black teas and coffee
- Cola beverages
- Red wine
- Strongly colored food and sauces
Before you pick any of these whitening options, be sure to check with your dentist at Brocks Gap Dentistry to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision for you.
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