Your smile is important. It is often the first physical feature people notice when they meet you. The condition and alignment of your teeth – even the smell of your breath- says a lot about you to people when you are trying to make connections socially or in the business world. Due to this fact, most of us recognize the importance of taking care of our teeth.
When it comes to oral hygiene, most of us know the basics of brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups. We spend a substantial portion of our annual income each year to ensure that our teeth are properly aligned, free of cavities, and intact.
The Causes Of Tooth Discoloration
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, our teeth sometimes become discolored due to a variety of reasons. Some of these factors are within your control while others may be left up to chance. A few of the controllable factors include proper oral hygiene, dietary choices, and smoking habits.
Major culprits in the dietary category are coffee, dark tea, red wine, and dark soda. Factors we have less control over are usually related to age, genetics, excess fluoride exposure, and darkening of the tooth’s dentin as a result of trauma or the use of certain antibiotics during tooth formation.
Understanding the causes of your tooth discoloration may be helpful to your dental professional in deciding if dental whitening is an appropriate choice and what method would work best for you.
How Can Teeth Whitening Help?
Teeth whitening is a process for removing discoloration and returning your teeth to their natural state. There are a number of methods used to accomplish this, including laser whitening and chemical bleaching. Some methods are more suitable for certain types of stains and it is highly advisable to consult with your dentist on the best method for your particular needs.
Professional Vs. Do It Yourself Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening has become one of the most requested services for dental offices for removing tooth discoloration. This is largely due to the fact that professional teeth whitening procedures are more advanced than over-the-counter techniques. Professional procedures may be better suited to handle your particular tooth whitening needs especially if the discoloration is caused by particularly stubborn staining as a result of fluorosis or exposure to Tetracycline antibiotics while the teeth were forming.
Professional teeth whitening also offers the advantage of instant results. While many at-home techniques require weeks of regular bleaching before results are seen, professional dental whitening techniques are often effective on the very first treatment. This is because dental professionals are able to offer more powerful bleaching agents, proper equipment, and tooth-whitening techniques in a safe and controlled environment.
Some professional techniques, such as the use of laser or light-activated bleaching gels, are simply not available for use as an in-home treatment method.
While over-the-counter tooth whitening treatments are far less expensive than professional tooth whitening treatments, they do present certain risks to consumers as well. In many cases, the do-it-yourself treatments put consumers at risk of stomach problems and oral health issues as a result of chemical exposure. Loose-fitting bleaching trays may cause the bleaching chemicals to spill over and be swallowed by the consumer.
Additionally, the over-the-counter treatments often contain harsh chemicals or abrasives that can cause severe damage to the enamel of the teeth or these chemicals may seep through cavities and reach the roots of the tooth, causing nerve damage and putting the user at risk of infection.
For the average individual, the extra expense of in-office dental whitening procedures is well justified. Your dental professional will be able to recommend the best form of dental whitening for your particular situation.
Also Read: Advice To Keep Your Teeth Healthy And Clean