While brushing and flossing are vital to keeping your teeth bright and healthy, if you feel your smile lacks some brilliance, tooth whitening could be a good solution. Tooth whitening is actually one of the most commonly requested dental services. If you are considering tooth whitening, make sure you have the facts first.
Over time, your teeth can change from white to less than bright for numerous reasons. Among the most common reasons for tooth staining is consuming certain foods and beverages, including red wine, tea, and coffee. The color pigments in these beverages can affect the enamel or outer part of your teeth. Other factors that can affect the color of your teeth include:
- Tobacco use
- Medications, such as antihistamines and high blood pressure medications
- Chemotherapy has been known to darken teeth.
How Teeth Whitening Works
The teeth whitening process is relatively simple. Two different types of bleaches may be used in tooth whitening products to break up stains into small pieces, making the color less concentrated and brightening your teeth.
If you are thinking about having your teeth whitened, you should be aware that this treatment does not work on all stains. For example, while yellow stains usually respond well to whitening treatments, this cannot be said of brown stains. Gray discoloration may not respond to whitening treatments at all. Such treatments also will not work on fillings, crowns, or veneers. Tooth whitening is also not usually effective on discoloration resulting from injury or medications.
“While over-the-counter whitening products are now available, it should be understood that such products are not as effective as in-office bleaching, also known as chairside bleaching. Such treatments can typically be performed in a single office visit using a special solution and laser or light to enhance the effect of the whitening agent.
Call to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening and discover just how bright your smile can be.”
Dr. Diana Pham, DDS