Regardless of how well you brush your teeth, they can still show some discoloration. This is especially possible if you love to drink tea and coffee or smoke. A lot of teeth whitening products are available on the market, but even if they are generally safe, they may still have some side effects. So, if you are considering teeth whitening, make sure to get the facts first. Your family dentist in Sterling Heights can help you understand the benefits of professional teeth whitening and what you should consider when you choose teeth whitening home kits.
Reasons Your Teeth Color May Change
Over time, the teeth can lose their whiteness and become discolored for some reason. These reasons include the following:
- Food and beverages. Coffee, red wine, and tea can stain your teeth. These beverages contain chromogens, which are color pigments that tend to attach to the tooth’s surface.
- Tobacco. Tobacco contains tar and nicotine, which can create stubborn stains. Although nicotine is colorless, it turns into a yellowish substance when mixed with oxygen.
- Age. Over time, your enamel’s outer layer gets thinner with constant brushing. This results in the appearance of yellowish dentin.
- Medications. Some high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and antipsychotics can darken teeth. Young kids exposed to antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline during the formation of their teeth may have discolored adult teeth in the future.
- Trauma. Your tooth may change color when your mouth has been hit by something. As your mouth reacts to the injury, it lays down more dentin.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Products made to whiten teeth contain bleaches, such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These chemicals break stains into smaller pieces, making your teeth brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work on some teeth. This is the reason you need to visit your dentist before you decide to get your teeth whitened. For instance, while yellow teeth may bleach well, brown teeth may not respond well. Also, bleaching may not work for gray teeth at all. It is important to keep in mind that whitening won’t work on dental veneers, caps, fillings, or crowns. Also, this is not expected to work on tooth discoloration due to a tooth injury or medications.
Why Professional Teeth Whitening is Recommended
Although you may be able to see some positive results from over-the-counter teeth whitening products, they are only for the short term. In-office teeth whitening is safer and more reliable because your dentist performs it. As your dentist specializes in teeth, they know what to do to ensure you get the results you desire.