Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures around, because of it’s an easy method, most dentists offer it and it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your smile.
Causes of Teeth Discoloration:
As we get older, the color of our teeth usually darkens and can appear yellowish or stained. There are various reasons this occurs. Typical issues that affect the surface of your teeth and can cause darkening or stain include:
Age: Yes, just getting older can make your teeth darker. As you get old, the outer enamel layer of your teeth gets thinner which lets more of the yellowish dentin layer underneath show through.
Drinking beverages: Tea, coffee and red wine are common beverages many people have that lead to staining of your teeth.
Pigmented Food: Certain types of food can lead to surface discoloration as well. Dark veggies like beets or carrots, fruits with more amount of pigment like berries
Tobacco: The tar and nicotine in cigarettes pack a dangerous one to punch on your teeth. Tar is a generally dark substance that leads to staining. Nicotine, when it combines with oxygen, returns into a yellowish substance that can discolor your teeth.
Intrinsic stains, which happen when discoloration occurs deeper in your teeth’s structure, are less talked about but are worth knowing about.
Common causes of intrinsic stains include:
Trauma: A trauma to the mouth can lead to a darker color as the mouth reacts to the injury by producing more dentin (the darker layer under the enamel).
Fluoride: It is excellent for fighting cavities but children that take too much fluoride are at risk of stain.
Medication: Young children that take too many medicines like tetracycline when their teeth are growing can get stained of their adult teeth later in the year. Also, the discoloration can be a side effect of some high blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, and anti-psychotic medications.
Teeth Whitening Options:
If your teeth are stained or discolored and you’re looking for a whiter, brighter, beautiful smile, there are 2 options:
- In-Office Teeth Whitening
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) or Teeth Whitening at Home
In-Office Teeth Whitening: Our dentist offers some kind of in-office teeth whitening in Scottsdale. The cost of teeth whitening treatment varies depending on the particular procedure you prefer. Professional teeth whitening includes applying a strong bleaching agent to the teeth. The bleach is much more active than what you will find in a DIY product. Also, when you have a skilled professional do your teeth whitening they can preserve the rest of your mouth (gums, enamel, etc.) from the bleaching material. They are also well qualified to handle any sudden issues that may develop such as tooth sensitivity. In-office teeth whitening usually takes between 1-3 hours and is performed in a single visit. The effects can last for a year or more depending on how well you take care of your teeth.
DIY or Teeth Whitening at Home: There are lots of home teeth whitening products available such as toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening gum, paint on gels and mouth trays with gel. The agents used in-home teeth whitening outcomes are much weaker than those used at a dentist’s clinic. Due to the weaker agent, it may take more time to get the results you seek.