While regular brushing and flossing can keep your teeth healthy and strong, they are not enough to make your teeth brighter than they used to. This is especially true if your teeth have become yellow or brown over time. In most cases, regular toothpaste is no longer adequate to attain the sparkle you desire.
A Change in Color
Your pearly whites change their color due to a number of reasons. Cosmetic dentists in Glenview note that drinks such as coffee, tea, and wine have intense color pigments that can stick to the enamel or the outer part of the tooth. Tobacco use is also known to stain teeth, because of the tar and nicotine. Long-term use of tobacco products can make your teeth yellowish with brown stains.
Age can also cause your teeth to lose their sparkle. Over time, the outer layer gets thinner with brushing, showing the yellowish color of the dentin. The use of certain medications such as antihistamine and blood pressure medicine can also have a tooth darkening effect. Kids exposed to antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline may also have teeth discoloration in their adult years.
Options for Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a simple process, but not all whitening products can work on all teeth. This is why it is best to talk to your dentist before choosing a product or an option. Whitening toothpaste, for instance, cannot change the color of your teeth. They can help remove surface stains, but not brighten noticeably yellowish or brownish teeth.
In-office bleaching is the most effective option. This requires a dental visit, with the dentist applying a shield to your gums and bleach to your teeth. Some even use laser or a special light to enhance the effect of the whitening product. There are also at-home bleaching products like those peroxide, which can bleach the enamel. The bleaching agent, however, is not as effective as those used in in-office whitening.
Keep in mind that improper use of whiteners can have side effects. Some may experience temporary tooth sensitivity, which will require delaying of the treatment, then trying again. Be sure to follow directions or talk to your dentist to avoid damage to teeth and gums.