Teeth discoloration or staining can significantly affect how you feel about your appearance, especially when you smile or talk to others. This can affect your interpersonal relationships and work, among other areas of your life. Teeth whitening is an option that can help you boost your confidence and improve your smile. However, before opting for teeth whitening, it is important to have a good understanding of the following information, which can help you decide if it is the right option for you.
Causes of Discolored or Stained Teeth
To choose the best teeth whitening option, it’s essential to understand why your teeth are discolored or stained. Your tooth enamel can be weakened by acidic beverages such as tea, coffee, and red wine, leading to tooth discoloration. Tobacco use or smoking can also lead to staining or discoloration of your teeth. Other common causes of tooth staining include certain antibiotics, injuries that damage your teeth, and aging. As you age, your tooth enamel erodes, making the yellowish interior of your tooth more visible. Some teeth whitening treatments may not be effective for certain types of stains or discolorations.
Types of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening options include over-the-counter products that you can purchase at local drugstores and professional treatments. While over-the-counter products such as teeth whitening strips and toothpaste are convenient, they contain bleaching agents that are less effective than professional teeth whitening products. In-office treatments and take-home treatments are professional teeth whitening options.
In-office treatments involve applying a whitening agent to your teeth, while take-home treatments require the use of kits that contain a whitening tray and bleaching agent at home. While in-office treatments are the most effective teeth whitening option, take-home kits offer convenience.
Good Candidates for Teeth Whitening
Not everyone with discolored or stained teeth is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening treatments. Teeth whitening works best on mild stains and discolorations, but it may not be effective if your teeth are discolored from antibiotic use. Teeth whitening tends to be more effective at breaking up yellowish or brownish stains and discolorations than grayish stains. More severe stains and discolorations respond better to professional treatments done in-office than to take-home kits or over-the-counter products. You should also note that teeth whitening products are not intended for changing the color of cosmetic treatments such as veneers, crowns, and other artificial teeth.
If you need more information on teeth whitening to improve your smile or determine if you’re a suitable candidate, please contact us at Leslie B. Anthony, DMD today.