Most people want a brighter smile but do not know how to obtain whiter teeth or even where to start. Your dentist has in-office solutions. There are also numerous over-the-counter products. Many brands of toothpaste claim to whiten teeth, and stores sell all varieties of tooth whitening products – trays, gels, strips, and rinses – over the counter.
Teeth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform whitening.
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:
Food and Drink
Coffee, tea, and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).
Two chemicals found in tobacco create stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel(Source: mouthhealthy.org).
The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining. The level of effectiveness, of over-the-counter products, will depend on how regularly they are used, and how stained the patient’s teeth are to start.
In-office whitening tends to be far more effective – the dentist can apply the bleaching agent in very strong doses, and use laser/light/heat for increased effectiveness. In as little as 30 minutes, in-office treatments can provide significant whitening, though your dentist can provide multiple procedures for even better results.
If you’re interested in whitening your teeth, ask your dentist about services they provide, or over-the-counter recommendations they may have. Depending on how many shades of lightening you expect, your dentist may recommend certain products or procedures over others and may recommend professional cleaning or other permanent work before whitening to ensure it’s as effective as possible.
For more information on whitening contact Tory Hill Dental for an appointment at 207-929-6626 or via our website at https://toryhilldental.com.