November 27, 2019
A bright smile can work wonders on boosting your confidence, but with all the bad eating habits that we have nowadays, having a perfect, white smile can seem almost impossible. The teeth whitening industry is worth billions of dollars, and in an attempt to regain the whiteness of a healthy smile, people look for more and more innovative ways to do obtain long-lasting results.
Unfortunately, a life-long method to whiten your teeth is yet to be discovered, as teeth discoloration happens because of many reasons, including what we eat, what we drink, as well as medical conditions.
Luckily, there are many methods that can help you regain confidence in your smile, from at-home remedies to professional bleaching. But, first of all, you need to understand what are the reasons why teeth get that yellow, unnatural color.
What causes teeth discoloration?
Teeth discoloration or yellowing can be the result of many factors, but mostly what happens is that certain foods you eat cause plaque to build up and give teeth that yellow look. Coffee, tobacco, and tea can also stain teeth and give them an unappealing color. Usually, the most common reasons that cause teeth discoloration are:
Unhealthy eating habits: drinking too much tea, coffee or red wine can stain your teeth and lead to an unpleasant yellow look, and so do some vegetables and fruits, such as potatoes and apples.
Tobacco: smoking cigarettes is known to affect the natural enamel coat of your teeth and favor the apparition of plaque.
Inadequate dental hygiene: superficially brushing your teeth, not flossing or not using an antiseptic mouthwash will allow for plaque to get caught on your teeth, which can not only cause discoloration but other tooth problems as well.
Medical issues: certain diseases can directly affect the enamel, as well as the dentin, which is the interior material of your teeth. Additionally, some antibiotics and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, can also result in teeth discoloration.
Try at-home remedies
Throughout time, people have come up with several ways to whiten teeth at home, some of them proving to be very effective, while others still remain a myth. Amongst the most effective at-home treatments are:
Schedule an appointment with your doctor
If at-home remedies are not for you, and you wish to achieve faster and prolonged results, there is no better method than scheduling a tooth whitening procedure with your dentist. The experts at the West House Dental clinic advise making sure you take care of all other dental problems, such as cavities, before a whitening procedure, as the solution can pass through fissures and reach the inside of your tooth.
There are two types of procedures that the doctor will perform, based on your dental history:
Vital whitening: this method uses a gel that contains hydrogen peroxide and is applied directly to your teeth. The gel is activated by a special laser that fastens the whitening process. The procedure takes between 30 to 90 minutes and, based on the severity of the stains, you may be required to come back for a second procedure, to achieve the best results. To protect your gums, the dentist will also apply a substance that covers them, leaving just the teeth exposed.
Non-vital whitening: teeth that had a root-canal treatment applied may not be affected at all by a vital whitening procedure. For them, your doctor may try another type of treatment that involves whitening the tooth from the inside. A whitening agent will be placed inside the tooth and left there for a couple of days to act from inside out.
After the whitening procedure, you may feel your gums a bit irritated, but nothing to worry about. The teeth may also become sensitive for a few hours, but no serious side effects are likely to be caused.
Use professional whitening products
If you don’t want to be going to your doctor’s office every once in a while, for a professional whitening appointment, there are also several products that work just as good from the comfort of your own home. Compared to at-home remedies, these products have been professionally developed for getting rid of that unflattering yellow aspect:
Whitening strips: peroxide-based strips are easy to apply by following the instructions on the label. Usually, it takes several applications to achieve optimal results, but once done, you can enjoy a bright smile for at least a few months.
Withering trays: these can be bought either over-the-counter or from your dentist. The treatment involves wearing the trays for a couple of hours a day, but the length of the treatment differs based on the level of discoloration. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to achieve noticeable results.