While standing in front of the mirror wearing a clean, white shirt, you notice it as plain as day—your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. Why? How did they get to be that way? And what’s more, how can you get your bright, white smile back? Get the answers to your questions here from your cosmetic dentist.
Food and Drinks
We expose our teeth to darkly pigmented foods and drinks, such as coffee, wine, and chocolate, almost constantly. The traces of color that remain each time you consume these foods and drinks can build up over time and darken your pearly whites.
Poor Oral Hygiene
It may seem obvious to point out that if you don’t brush your teeth they are going to become discolored. Brushing daily clearly helps remove their stains. But good oral hygiene refers to more than just your daily habits; it also includes visiting the dentist for your cleaning appointments twice a year. Their professional tools are better equipped to scrub your teeth clean and remove stains. Going every six months for cleanings helps prevent the stains from accumulating too much.
The nicotine and tar in tobacco cause your teeth to yellow quickly, and heavy smokers can often have almost brown teeth.
Worn Down Tooth Enamel
Over time and with constant use, your teeth’s enamel, or the outer protective layer, can get worn down. The process can be accelerated by tooth decay that isn’t addressed, grinding or clenching your teeth, using your teeth inappropriately to perform tasks like opening packaging, or aggressive brushing. When the enamel gets worn down, it reveals the layer beneath it, the yellow dentin, causing your teeth to appear yellow.
Side Effect of Medications
Some medications can affect the color of your teeth. Check with your doctor to discuss the potential side effects of your medications.
As previously mentioned, over time, enamel naturally gets worn down. Therefore, teeth naturally get duller the older they get.
Some amount of discoloration can be attributed to genetics. Although you can’t control the genes you have inherited, there are ways to treat tooth discoloration.
In some cases, the cleaning performed at your routine six-month dental appointment is enough to remove the stains on your teeth. Others want more dramatic results. Although over-the-counter whitening solutions are more affordable, they don’t deliver. To achieve the whitening power you’re looking for, you can take advantage of professional teeth whitening solutions either in the dentist’s office or with take-home kits.
Both in-office and take-home whitening solutions use hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to bleach the stains on your teeth safely and effectively and can brighten your teeth by up to 8 shades. The only difference is that the in-office treatment uses a higher concentration of peroxide and is on your teeth for a shorter period of time than the take-home alternative. Each has their own pros and cons, so talk to your cosmetic dentist to determine which option is best for you.
Now that you know the reasons that your teeth can become yellow or dull, you can get the necessary treatment to address your current stains. Then you can try to lessen discoloration in the future through better lifestyle and hygiene choices. Reach out to your cosmetic dentist to get more information about teeth whitening.
About the Practice
Peaks View Dental is privileged to have five talented, experienced dentists to serve patients in Bedford. They and their staff offer both in-office and take-home whitening solutions to meet all their patients’ needs. To contact them, you can call or click here.