Professional tooth whitening is the key to brighter, whiter teeth.
We all want a healthy smile free from tooth discoloration. A great smile demonstrates confidence, makes us feel more attractive, boosts our immune system, is good for our heart, and is excellent for our overall health. For these reasons and more, it should come as no surprise that a great smile is on just about everybody’s wish list.
Unfortunately, many adults have tooth discoloration. And, when your teeth are anything less than a healthy white, it can impede our willingness to flash a toothy grin. Though many things outside of our control can cause tooth discoloration, there are some things that we can do to slow down the process and keep our teeth whiter, longer.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Some reasons why teeth discolor are simply outside of our control. Consider the following causes of tooth discoloration as examples:
- Some diseases prevent tooth enamel from developing normally. At the same time, some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can result in tooth discoloration.
- Sometimes we have to take medicines to cure us of various illnesses or to prevent chronic conditions from worsening. Tetracycline and doxycycline, for example, can affect enamel formation in children under eight years old. Further, mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can stain teeth too. Antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications also lead to tooth discoloration.
- Some amalgam restorations, especially those containing silver sulfide materials, can cast a gray-black color on your teeth.
- As we age, the outer layer of enamel on our teeth wears away, exposing the yellow dentin. Since tooth dentin grows as we age and decreases the size of the pulp, the resulting transparency of the tooth makes our teeth look darker.
- Thicker and whiter enamel runs in some families, and as such, genetics can play a role.
- If too much fluoride from environmental sources or excessive use of fluoride applications, rinses, and toothpaste gets on teeth while forming, it can cause fluorosis, which appears as white spots on your teeth.
- Kids can get hit in the mouth when playing sports or even just from falling at the playground. The damage can upset enamel formation.
Though the above reasons for tooth discoloration are often outside of our control, there are other things that cause a yellowing or darkening of the teeth that we can control. Consider the following types of stains that can be avoided:
- It all can start and stop with good oral hygiene. Forgetting to brush and floss your teeth, or only brushing once per day and flossing occasionally, can cause plaque and food stains to build upon your teeth. When we skip our twice-a-year professional dental cleaning, stains can begin to form.
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, can stain teeth.
- Red wine, coffee, tea, cola, and certain starchy foods can lead to tooth discoloration.
Are homemade tooth whitening remedies reliable?
Though professional tooth whitening is the most effective way to turn around tooth discoloration, there are ways to whiten teeth naturally. We have many patients that ask us how to fix discolored teeth. Common methods are brushing with baking soda; using hydrogen peroxide; eating more fruits and vegetables, such as apples, celery, carrots, and oranges; and avoiding foods that cause staining. However, it is crucial to understand that too much of any one home remedy isn’t always good.
Over-the-counter whitening treatments and at-home tooth-whitening remedies don’t have the staying power that professional tooth whitening does. And, when not done correctly or in a safe environment, you can inadvertently do more harm than good.
When to Get a Professional Whitening Treatment
If you are experiencing severe tooth discoloration and are ashamed to show your smile, it is likely time to get a professional whitening treatment. And, if you have been asking yourself whether teeth coloration can be reversed, you should know that professional teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office will provide you with the highest likelihood for success. So if you have black stains on teeth or feel that you have bad teeth, and you are in Griffin or Hampton, Georgia, it might be time to pay a visit to Allred Family Dentistry to see which tooth whitening options are best for you.
What to expect during a professional whitening treatment.
Patients should know that a tooth cleaning during your twice-a-year trip to the dentist can help provide you with a whiter smile because your teeth are typically polished at the end of a cleaning. However, a tooth whitening procedure is separate from your cleanings. Thus, teeth whitening appointments must be scheduled in addition to cleanings. And, thousands of people undergo professional laser tooth whitening every year, and for a good reason.
During your tooth whitening appointment to combat tooth discoloration, you can expect to experience the following steps taken by your family dentist.
- Drs. Allred or Allred will determine if you are a candidate for laser tooth whitening and will make a note of the current shade of your teeth.
- We will polish your teeth to remove any surface plaque.
- Your mouth will be tucked with gauze so that your teeth stay dry. We will also use retractors to keep your cheeks, lips, and tongue from coming into contact with the whitening solution.
- We will place a barrier along the gum line to protect your gums from exposure to the whitening solution.
- We will coat the front surface of your teeth with a whitening solution.
- We will apply a curing light or laser to activate the peroxide, and the solution will remain on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Once the desired shade is reached, the teeth will be rinsed, and we will apply fluoride to help ease potential tooth sensitivity.
You don’t have to suffer from tooth discoloration.
If you are ready to smile again and want to flash some pearly whites, now is the time to schedule an appointment for professional tooth whitening at Allred Family Dentistry. We look forward to talking to you about Opalescence whitening (aka in-office whitening) that can take place in a single visit to our office. You don’t have to suffer from tooth discoloration anymore, so what are you waiting for? See how the Opalescence whitening procedure can bring your smile back to you.