Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?

Food and Drink

Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits.  They contatin intense color pigments that attach to the white part of the tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use

Tar and nicotine found in tobacco products create stubborn stains.

Age

The outer layer of your teeth (enamel) gets thinner with time and the yellowish dentin layer starts to show through.

Trauma

If you've been hit in the mouth, your tooth may become darker by laying down more dentin as it reacts to the injury.

Medications

Tooth darkening can be a side efect of certain anihistimines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life.  Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Whitening is a simple process.  These products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.  These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which make the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

 

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

No, which is why its important to talk to your general dentist in Evansville, IN before deciding to whiten your teeth.  Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration.  Whitening will not work on caps or crowns, veneers, or fillings.  It also won't be as effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

 

What Are My Whitening Options?

Talk to your general dentist in Evansville, IN before starting.  If you are a candidate, there are 4 ways to put that shine back in your smile:

1. Stain Removal Toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth.  Look for whitening toothpastes that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal.  These have additonal polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal effectiveness.  Unlike bleaches, these types of products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

2. In-Office Bleaching

This procedure (chairside bleaching) usually requires only one office visit.  The dentist will apply a protective gel to your gums.  Bleach is then applied to the teeth.

3. At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist

 Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made tray or pre-filled tray for at-home whitening. The dental staff will then instruct you on how to apply the tray and for how long to wear.  This may be a preferred option if you feel more comfortable whitening at home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist.  Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

4. Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You may see different options online or in your local grocery store, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth.  The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your denist and look for one with the ADA Seal fo Acceptance.  That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening.

 

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people who use whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Be sure to follow the directions and talk to your dentist.  In most cases, this is temporary.

 

If you are interested in teeth whitening you can call the best dentist in Evansville, IN- Dr Jenkins and we would be glad to see if you would be a good candidate.

source: MouthHealthy.org by ADA.

Author
A Woman's Touch Dentistry

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