The practice of teeth whitening has become a very popular trend. Who doesna€™t want to improve their smile with bright looking teeth? There are different reasons for individuals to end up with discolored or dingy enamel, including genetics, aging, prescription drug side effects, and certain lifestyle habits. The three dental methods to brighten their appearance back to pearly white are in-office, at-home and via toothpastes. Here are some things to think about.
Reasons for discoloration:
Genetics: Just like genetics plays a role in hair and eye color, the roll of the DNA dice also plays a part in the color of teeth. Some individuals have whiter enamel than others, regardless of environmental components.
Aging: Over the course of a lifetime, skin begins to lose collagen and elasticity; hair loses melatonin and becomes white or gray; and teeth lose their youthful brightness and move toward a yellower tone.
Prescription drug side effects: Some prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs can stain and discolor teeth. One example of a prescription medication that changes the color of tooth enamel is Tetracycline. A gray or yellow appearance may appear. Illegal drugs such as crystal meth are also notorious for rotting away a persona€™s teeth in addition to wreaking havoc with their color.
Lifestyle: Some lifestyle habits cause stained enamel such as cigarette smoking, drinking red wine, coffee or black tea, or chewing tobacco.
Three Whitening Techniques:
In-office: There are different methods for transforming discolored grins into bright smiles. Bleaching may work in many cases, but not all of them. Depending on the issue at hand, another in-office method might work better. Other options include bonding, porcelain veneers or Lumineers. If your dental practitioner decides that chairside bleaching will work, he or she will protect your gums with either a rubberized shielding device or a topical gel. He or she will then place a bleaching solution on for a specified amount of time. More than one session is often needed to achieve the whiteness that is desired.
At-home: At-home kits contain various amounts of a peroxide called carbamide. The carbamide peroxide comes in different strengths and can be purchased over the counter or from onea€™s DDS. Typical concentration amounts vary from ten to twenty percent. Patients must follow the directions carefully and wear protective mouth devices as instructed. Some at-home solutions are applied and left on overnight while others have different timetables. Solutions may be in liquid form, gels or even strips.
Toothpaste: One of the gentlest methods of achieving whiteness is via a type of abrasive material within the toothpastea€™s ingredients. This abrasive material works to sand away spots and discoloration. Reputable toothpastes should bear the ADA approval notation on the tube.
Teeth whitening techniques offer everyone a chance to have brighter smiles than would have been possible in past years. The only drawback is that some patients end up with sensitive teeth inbetween treatments. It would be wise to discuss the pros and cons of each method of brightening with a dentist before deciding which approach to try.