Work has been stressful, you’re pounding cup after cup of coffee, and now, to top it off, you’ve noticed your teeth are looking more and more stained. Is there anything you can do? There’s no question that yellow teeth can be a constant source of anxiety and embarrassment. If you’ve become increasingly embarrassed by the shade of your teeth, professional teeth whitening is an easy and affordable treatment that will effectively brighten your smile, and leave you feeling great. Although there are several whitening alternatives these days, teeth whitening done in-office by a professional is still the safest and most effective!
How Do Stains Occur?
Ask a random person on the street to explain the mechanics of teeth staining and they may blame age or even sugar. While enamel can change color with age, this explanation doesn’t tell the whole story. There are two major types of tooth staining: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic staining is fairly rare, and occurs inside the tooth as a result of dentin changing colors. This can happen because of certain medication, genetics, or even aging. Unfortunately, if you’re affected by intrinsic staining, tooth whitening will be ineffective, and you should speak with your dentist about other treatments, such as porcelain veneers.
Extrinsic staining is the most common form of tooth stains, and occurs on our enamel. Enamel is naturally ridged and porous in spots which allows certain staining agents found in food to latch onto to our enamel and become stuck. The surface can also be roughened by acidic foods and beverages, which eat away your enamel. Once stains are lodged in your teeth, brushing won’t fix the issue. Some of the most common foods containing staining agents are coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes.
How Does Tooth Whitening Work?
In the simplest terms, teeth whitening works by exposing your teeth to chemicals, usually peroxide, which break down staining molecules trapped in enamel. When compared to whitening solutions that can be purchased in a grocery store, dental hygienists have access to much more powerful solutions that can leave your smile up to eight shades whiter. To improve the effects of tooth whitening, you may also pair an in-office treatment with a take-home solution that can help to maintain the effects of treatment for a longer period.
Does Tooth Whitening Work For Everyone?
Patients sometimes find themselves disappointed with the results of teeth whitening not because of the effectiveness of the treatment but because of discoloration of dentin, the layer underneath your enamel. If this is the case, porcelain veneers stand as a better solution. Porcelain veneers are a wafer-thin shell of porcelain bonded to the visible surfaces of your teeth. The procedure doesn’t rely on natural tooth enamel, so it can produce some of the most dramatic smile transformations possible. If your smile suffers from other issues such as chips, cracks, or gaps, porcelain veneers can correct these issues with one treatment.
If you’re looking for a smile that can change your life in Tarrytown or White Plains, please call (914) 332-4402 or email Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today. You can talk to one of our cosmetic dentists and learn how whitening, veneers, or other cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile you’ll love to show off.