Many people find that over time, their teeth have become discolored or otherwise stained. This can be caused by many factors, including age and diet. Patients often come to us hoping to transform their smile from average to Hollywood bright. However, the kind of perfect teeth found in Tinseltown are usually obtained via porcelain veneers, and we know not everyone has that kind of budget! Luckily, there are plenty of less expensive solutions available that can help you be more confident and happy with your smile. When it comes to teeth, most people feel that brighter is better. Everyone wants to have a smile that dazzles; yellow or dull-looking teeth aren’t an option for folks who truly want to look their best and turn heads wherever they go. But how can you obtain that Hollywood-level glow? We are here to help, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how to achieve a pearly white smile safely!
Causes For Teeth Discoloration
Before we talk about ways to create a brighter whiter smile, we need to talk about what causes yellow or dull teeth in the first place. There are two types of discoloration that can take place when teeth are looking stained and dull, which are extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. Extrinsic discoloration is when foods, beverages, smoking or lifestyle habits stain your teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, foods with dyes, and tobacco can contribute to this type of staining. These stains affect the outside of your teeth. Extrinsic discoloration may be treated with whitening toothpastes that target the teeth’s outside stains. On the other hand, intrinsic discoloration is caused from within the tooth. You may have intrinsic discoloration due to medication use, childhood illness, infection, tooth trauma, or aging. Intrinsic discoloration may need to be professionally bleached to get the same level, or better, of teeth whiteness. Depending on what type of discoloration you have, you can then indicate which type of whitening method is the right fit for you.
Professional Whitening Methods
There are many different ways you can whiten your teeth these days, but the most safest and best option would be to have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. Generally, the methods they use will bleach your teeth with carbamide peroxide. This breaks down to hydrogen peroxide and targets the tooth’s color in a chemical reaction. It’s considered a safe way to whiten teeth. When getting your teeth professionally whitened, your results can last longer than at home treatments, with a quicker processing time. Often, you may only need an hour treatment or a few visits to whiten your teeth. This is because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the applied products is greater than in products you use at home. Another alternative to professional whitening, is at home treatments through your dentist. Your dentist will create a custom tray for your teeth and send you home with a whitening gel that can be used whenever you feel like your smile needs a little pick me up.
Over The Counter Methods
For a cheaper alternative you can always try over the counter teeth whitening treatments to achieve a white smile. Unlike products used by a dentist to whiten teeth, these products have no carbamide peroxide, or, much less than the products dentists use. This means that if your teeth are intrinsically discolored, over the counter teeth whiteners may not work as effectively or may take longer to whiten your teeth. Over the counter methods might also cause sensitivity and irritate your gums throughout the whitening process, which does not make it the safest way to brighten your smile. One of the most common treatments to achieve a whiter smile is through whitening toothpastes. Whitening toothpastes don’t use carbide peroxide. Rather, these toothpastes target the surface of your teeth with a variety of substances. It may take more time for whitening toothpastes to work, but could be effective after just one brush since the chemical in the toothpaste makes your teeth appear whiter. Another popular method is teeth whitening strips. Whitening strips contain a smaller amount of hydrogen peroxide than professional products. You apply them one or two times a day to your teeth for a set period of time as indicated by the instructions on the product.
Maintenance is Key
Now that you have decided what whitening method is best for you, it’s time talk about how to maintain your pearly whites. Your eating, drinking, and oral hygiene habits can impact how long your teeth whitening results last. After you’ve completed any whitening treatment, your teeth are vulnerable to staining from beverages like tea,coffee,wine and certain foods. Rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth soon after eating or drinking can keep those kinds of discoloring agents from settling into the surface of your teeth, which results in the decrease of plaque build up. Aftercare is extremely important when it comes to prolonging your whitening treatment results. Directly after following your teeth whitening appointment or at-home application is when you should pay the closest attention to keeping your teeth stain-free. The first 48 hours after whitening, is the most crucial time to avoid any acidic or teeth staining foods that can weaken your enamel and cause more discoloration.