Whitening Procedures Restore Smiles!
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth.
The darker tissue of your teeth is known as the dentin. The dentin can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco (nicotine stains).
Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, red wine, berries, and soy sauce are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.
One type of stain—caused by traumatic injuries, medications, and dental fluorosis—actually begins inside the tooth. This means that brushing with fluoridated toothpaste or toothpaste that includes hydrogen peroxide or flossing with dental floss won’t help remove this type of stain.
Another type of stain can be more easily attacked by brushing, flossing, and rinsing is caused by external factors such as foods. Regular oral hygiene efforts help fight food stains on your natural teeth. This practice also helps to prevent cavities and manage tooth sensitivity in already sensitive teeth.
What About Whitening Toothpaste?
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commercially available "whitening toothpaste" can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter while you brush your teeth. Similar results have been attained with the use of whitening kits. However, many of these products have abrasive substances that can actually wear away your tooth's enamel.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth. Bleaching agents are also ineffective on restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding, and tooth-colored fillings (porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be more appropriate in this case).
Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method; done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.