Many people want whiter teeth. For a variety of reasons, people find that their smile is not as bright as they’d like. It’s common to want to whiten your teeth to get a more luminous smile. What causes teeth to be discolored, and how can they be brightened?
Surface stains are a very common cause of discoloration of the teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, curry, and other popular foods and beverages can stain the teeth. As this happens, your smile loses its brightness. Teeth whitening can remove these surface stains. To keep your teeth from being stained again, you could avoid these foods and beverages, but most people don’t want to do that. Instead, you could sip your beverage through a straw, which keeps it away from your front teeth so that any staining won’t be noticeable.
There are also other causes of tooth discoloration. Certain diseases and certain medications can discolor your teeth. Certain conditions in a pregnant woman may also cause discoloration of the child’s teeth. Genetics play a role, since the color and thickness of your tooth enamel is partly determined by your genes. As you age, your teeth will also tend to become less white. This happens because the enamel wears off and becomes thinner as you age, so the yellow dentin (the next layer of the tooth) shows through more.
There are many whitening toothpastes that can be used by those who desire to whiten their teeth. These contain mild abrasives that help to remove surface stains. In some cases, the toothpaste may contain a little bit of hydrogen peroxide. While whitening toothpastes are great for maintaining the results of more intense whitening, they aren’t enough by themselves to get the results that most people are looking for.
You can also get at-home whitening kits that allow you to whiten your teeth at home. These contain a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide. You will either place strips with the whitening agent on your teeth, or fill a tray with whitening gel and apply it to your teeth, for a period of time. In some cases, you apply the agent to your teeth just before bed and leave it on all night.
At-home whitening usually doesn’t provide the full results after just one treatment. You will usually need to whiten each day for about a week or two to get noticeable results.
If at-home whitening kits don’t provide as much whitening as you’re looking for, then you may want to consider professional teeth whitening. This is done in your dentist’s office, and can brighten your teeth much more than other options. Professional whitening is also much quicker than at-home whitening, so people sometimes choose it when they have a special event coming up (such as a wedding) and they want the fastest results.
Your dentist uses a stronger whitening agent than is available over the counter. For some types of whitening, a light is used to accelerate the whitening process. Your gums, lips, and cheeks will be protected from the whitening agent by rubber barriers or thick gel. Your dentist will leave the whitening agent on your teeth for a precise amount of time, and will then remove the gel.
In many cases, you’ll receive a fluoride treatment afterward. The fluoride can help to reduce the temporary tooth sensitivity that some people feel after getting teeth whitening.
If you’re looking to get whiter teeth, then you may want to find a cosmetic dentist Seattle. Dr. Mark Caggiano offers his years of experience to his patients in Seattle. In addition to cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and general dentistry, Dr. Caggiano is highly experienced in sedation dentistry, which helps people with dental anxiety to feel more relaxed while at the dentist.
With any whitening, keep in mind that composite resin and porcelain don’t whiten as tooth enamel does. If you’ve had extensive work on your front teeth (such as bonding or fillings), you may want to consider those before you undergo whitening. If your dental work was matched to your teeth before they became stained, then whitening may help restore your teeth to a similar shade to your dental work. However, if it’s matched to your stained teeth, then the dental work may become visible if you whiten too much.
For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.