When your permanent teeth first came in, they were clean and pearly white, but after years of living, they may have turned dull and discolored, making you embarrassed to smile. Fortunately, you have teeth whitening and other restoration options that can give you the sparkle of a Hollywood smile.
At Hometown Family Dental Centers, with locations in Fayetteville, Vass, and Raeford, North Carolina, our expert dental professionals offer in-office and at-home teeth whitening treatments that can make a difference. Want a quick fix? Here’s what you need to know.
Why are my teeth not white anymore?
The color and luster of your teeth change over time due to several factors.
Intrinsic stains are those found on the interior tissues of the teeth. As you age, the hard enamel that covers your teeth thins, revealing the natural yellowish-brown of the dentin layer beneath it. No amount of brushing or flossing can remove the dull color because it’s inside the tooth.
Certain medications, like tetracycline and some chemotherapy drugs, can also cause intrinsic staining. However, that doesn’t mean you have to live with the stains. An excellent option to restore the teeth’s bright white color is to get veneers — thin porcelain shells bonded to the fronts of the teeth. They can even cover up minor chips and cracks.
Extrinsic stains are those that occur outside the tooth. Some of the biggest causes of extrinsic stains are:
- Tea and coffee
- Dark colas
- Soy sauce
- Red wine
- Dark-colored berries or berry juice
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Any type of tobacco
Teeth whitening treatments can eliminate all these stains.
If you consume a lot of staining foods and drinks, that doesn’t mean you have to give them up entirely to keep your teeth gleaming. Make it a practice to consume them in moderation, and be sure to rinse your mouth out (or brush) afterward so they don’t remain on the teeth surfaces.
If you’re a tobacco user, though, continuing your habit will only perpetuate the staining and lead to other dental problems, such as gum disease and even oral cancer. The best option is to quit as soon as possible.
Why can’t I use a store-bought whitening kit?
You can go to the supermarket or pharmacy to buy a whitening kit and choose between all kinds of pastes, strips, and gels. The problem is, they’re not worth your time or money.
The OTC varieties usually contain little to no peroxide, the bleaching agent in the gel, so they may not work well, if at all. And if they do work, you might have to wait months to see even a modest result.
In addition, the trays that come in the OTC kits aren’t customized to fit your mouth. That means the paste or gel can ooze out, putting you at an increased risk for tooth and gum sensitivity.
Why are professional whitening options better?
You have two professional whitening options: at-home and in-office treatments.
At-home kits from Hometown Family Dental Centers differ entirely from the DIY varieties. The gels contain 3-20% peroxide, which is strong enough to whiten your teeth with just a few applications.
Furthermore, the dentist’s at-home kits come with customized trays, so the whitening solution stays in the trays and on your teeth, reducing sensitivity.
In-office whitening treatments usually contain 15-43% peroxide. Because of this, having the treatment done in the office can make your teeth whiter quicker. Furthermore, in-office treatments are strong enough to tackle some stains that at-home kits can’t.
If you want to whiten your teeth quickly but are unsure of which direction to go, don’t worry. We can help you decide what’s best for you based on your mouth, the type and severity of chips and stains, and your aesthetic goals.
To get started, contact Hometown Family Dental Centers by phone or on the website. Your camera-ready Hollywood smile is waiting for you.