Flossing and brushing your teeth every day is essential for keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth sparkling. However, you might feel that your teeth are looking yellower than usual at times. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, most people wanted whiter teeth when asked about what they would improve about their smiles. Here’s all you need to know about teeth whitening!
Some people naturally have more yellowish teeth than others, but they can change colors over time due to a variety of reasons such as:
- Food and drink: Tea, coffee, and red wine leave stains on the enamel of the teeth—the outermost covering. They contain intense pigments of color called chromogens that attach themselves to the enamel to leave stains.
- Tobacco: Tar and nicotine in tobacco create rather stubborn stains on teeth. Tar is a dark-colored substance, while nicotine turns yellow when mixed with oxygen, leaving unsightly stains.
- Age: Teeth are made up of a softer area known as the dentin, covered by a hard, transparent outer shell called the enamel. The enamel thins over time as you age, making the yellow dentin shine through.
- Trauma: Physical trauma such as mouth injuries can change your tooth’s color as a reaction, laying down dark dentin under the enamel.
Medications: High blood pressure medicines often cause yellowing in teeth.
Teeth whitening is a rather simple process—your dentist will use products containing carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to break the stains down and make the yellow color appear less concentrated.
Teeth whitening doesn’t work for everyone, so it’s important to consult a dentist before you make the decision. Yellow teeth can respond well to bleach in teeth whitening products, while brown and gray teeth do not. Whitening also doesn’t work on veneers, caps, fillings, or crowns. If your teeth are discolored due to an injury or medication, teeth whitening won’t be very effective.
There are many options for whitening your teeth—in-office bleaching, stain removal toothpaste, and OTC bleaching products. Get a consultation with experienced dentists at Rapha Dental LLC to help you determine the best method for your teeth. It’s completely safe, pain-free, and reliable!