A smile with white teeth is not only beautiful but it often signifies good health. Unfortunately as we grow older, our teeth can naturally darken. While the yellowing of our teeth can be due to many different reasons, it can be reversed. With a simple visit to your dentist, you can whiten your teeth quickly. Your dentist can also help with a routine maintenance to keep your smile looking good.
As we age, we may notice that our teeth are not as white anymore. This is due to changes of our mineral structure in our teeth. The tooth enamel become less porous as the years go by. This means daily eating and drinking stains our teeth quicker. Tea, coffee, wine, tobacco and soft drinks take their toll on our teeth. There are also health issues such as Fluorosis and Enamel Hypoplasia that can cause teeth to darken.
Daily brushing does help remove the surface stains on our teeth. Whitening toothpaste has been shown to lighten teeth by one shade. Yet brushing does not help the stains deep in the tooth enamel. This doesn’t mean that you should stop brushing, regular brushing helps to keep your teeth from darkening further.
To whiten the stains deep within the tooth enamel, a visit to your dentist is needed. There they can properly bleach your teeth to a youthful white. While you might be tempted to try bleaching strips and trays you can buy at your local store, be careful. Improper or over usage of these products can do more harm than good. You could further strip your enamel, causing more damage to your teeth. Even worse, you could be covering up a problem that needs proper dental care.
Luckily, whitening your teeth at a dental office is simple. It also quick as it usually only takes about thirty minutes. The results are far better than in-home treatments, usually eight shades lighter. The results will also last longer.
When you visit your dentist for whitening, they will do a full examination. They will check all teeth and gums thoroughly, to ensure that there are no underlying problems. Infected gums and tooth decay is not recommended for whitening. The dentist will then apply a protective layer to your gums. This is to protect them from possible burns. After this, the dentist will apply the bleaching agent to your teeth. Most dentists will use a light to help speed up the process of the teeth whitening. This is a quick process, you are able to return to work or your normal routine right after.
Your white teeth should last anywhere from six to ten months, it depends largely upon your lifestyle. Some patients may do follow-up visits for a variety of reasons. De-calcification may occur on some teeth and is natural. This is when white spots appear on the tooth. With follow-up visits, the entire tooth will become the same shade. For highly discolored teeth, a few visits may be required to achieve the level of whiteness desired.
There are some conditions that may not respond to in office teeth whitening. Bleaching is only recommended for healthy teeth that are yellowish in color. If the tooth is originally grey, bleaching will not be effective. Bonded teeth and tooth fillings will also not respond to bleaching. The dentist can help you decide the best course of treatment to whiten your teeth. He may suggest porcelain veneers or bonding. Both will bring back the natural white smile you desire.