Teeth whitening is probably one of the most well-known cosmetic procedures in the dental community. The procedure is non-invasive and painless. But what causes discoloration in the first place, and what procedure is right for you to create a whiter and brighter smile? Let’s find out.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
There are many ways that teeth discolor, becoming darkened or stained over time.
The top 5 ways teeth become discolored include:
Smoking and Tobacco Products
Tar and nicotine found in tobacco products create stubborn stains on teeth. Tar naturally darkens enamel, and nicotine causes teeth to become yellow, so years of smoking or tobacco use can cause increased discoloration.
Food and Drink
Coffee, tea, sodas, and certain fruits contain color pigments called chromogens which attach to your enamel. Drinking less staining drinks or using a straw can help protect your enamel from staining pigments.
Certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications may darken teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation also may darken teeth.
As you age, the outer layer of your tooth enamel becomes thinner and wears away. The yellow dentin layer underneath the enamel may show through after years of brushing.
Hits and injuries made to the mouth also change the color of teeth. After an injury, a tooth may lay down more dentin, the darker layer under the enamel. Chips in teeth can also cause discoloration.
How to Whiten Teeth
There are numerous teeth whitening products sold at drugstores and supermarkets, but professional teeth whitening can be a more effective way to brighten a smile. A combination of teeth whitening treatments may be right for you if you have yellow, brown, or stained teeth.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
Zoom uses a gel formula for teeth with hydrogen peroxide that is pH balanced. The gel is activated by a special light that removes stains from tooth enamel. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes.
KOR is a whitening procedure that takes several weeks using at-home applications, with a final in-office treatment. The procedure uses safe bleaching agents and refrigeration technology to whiten the surface of the teeth, often capable of addressing graying and stains from tetracycline.
GLO Science Professional
GLO Science has in-office and at-home treatments that whiten teeth while also protecting tooth enamel.
Take Home Whitening
Bleaching gel is provided for a special bleaching tray mold that is custom-created for each patient’s teeth. The whitening process takes two weeks and results last from months to years.
Pick the Method That’s Right for You
Professional teeth whitening can improve the appearance of teeth and create newfound confidence. Experienced cosmetic dentists in Annapolis, Dr. Lee, and our associates take everything into account when recommending a teeth whitening procedure. The condition of gum health and tooth enamel are taken into consideration when picking the correct method for each patient. When recommending a product, our dentists regard for the causes of teeth discoloration as well as the condition of each patient’s tooth health.
To find the right teeth whitening method for you, schedule an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. Contact Lee, Bonfiglio, Vesely & Associates.