While it is true that brushing our teeth daily does indeed assist in a truly brighter smile, sometimes more is needed to get the whiter smile we desire. Enter teeth whitening. We’ve all heard about it, seen the results on our friends and envied celebrities as they flash their pearly whites. But what is it truly all about? Before we address that question, let’s ask another; “Why did my teeth change to the point of needing whitening?” There are many reasons our teeth dim over time. Some of these reasons include food and beverages, tobacco use, medications, and age.
When it comes to food and drinks there are no bigger culprits for teeth staining than those of coffee, tea or wine. The reason is that all three have intense color pigments called chromogens that attaches to the enamel of the teeth and cause staining. The nicotine and tar in tobacco also cause staining as once nicotine is mixed with oxygen, it turns yellow which in turn does the same to your teeth over time. Age and certain medications can also cause teeth to yellow over an extended amount of time.
How Do Teeth Whiteners Work?
Whitening products contain one of two teeth bleaching agents: Hydrogen peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide. Both break down stains in a way that they are reduced to smaller particles which make the teeth brighter. While teeth whitening works on most teeth, there are some that it will not. The best teeth candidates for whitening are yellow teeth versus brown or gray teeth. Veeners, caps, fillings and crowns will not benefit from teeth whitening so it’s very important to discuss with your dentist if it’s something that will work for your teeth.
Some of the options available are at home whitening, whitening toothpastes, and in-office bleaching. Toothpastes that whiten your teeth on a daily basis work very well for lightly stained teeth, but if your teeth has deeper stains, at home whitening can be done as well with custom bleaching trays that with use of special whitening gels can be very successful in brightening that smile. If more intense whitening is needed, in-office bleaching may be what is needed for the job.
Whichever option you choose, your dentist can assist on making sure it’s the right one for you and your teeth.
If you would like more information on the services that Burba Dental Partners provide, please visit the teeth whitening page of our website.