Once upon a time, your teeth were pearly white. Now they look as yellow as kernels of corn. How did you go from wow to yow? Are yellow or dingy teeth an inevitable part of adulthood and aging? Or did you make a mistake with your dental care?
At Affordable Dental East, our skilled and caring dentist, Ben Mohrman, DDS, understands that even the most fastidious oral health routines can’t necessarily keep your teeth looking as white as they did when you were young. He recommends professional teeth whitening to lighten your teeth by several shades.
As far as why your teeth have yellowed, several factors could be at play. Following are some of the most common reasons you’ve lost your glow.
As part of your natural aging process, the protective enamel on your teeth wears away. Thin enamel can’t hide the yellowish gray color of your inner tooth, which is called the dentin.
Even if you whiten the surface of your teeth with over-the-counter whitening products, you can’t whiten your dentin. In contrast, professional whitening treatments not only break up stains on the surface of your teeth, but bleach the inner dentin, too.
If you regularly consume dark-colored foods or drinks, they stain your enamel. The stains become deep-set, even with regular brushing and flossing. Teeth-staining foods and beverages include:
If you must consume teeth-staining foods and drinks, be sure to rinse with water afterward and try to brush your teeth as soon as possible.
A common side effect of smoking and tobacco is brown-tinted tooth discoloration. Smoking also dehydrates your gums, which increases your chance of tooth loss.
Even a blow to the mouth from a collision or fall can change the color of your teeth. When the nerve dies or is damaged, your tooth may darken. Tetracycline and other medications may discolor your teeth, too.
Your teeth can also appear brown, gray, or even greenish if you don’t practice good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice daily, floss once daily, and see your dentist at least twice per year for an in-depth cleaning.
We use a professional grade whitener to break up stain molecules, whether they’re caused by tobacco, food, or drink. Professional teeth whitening isn’t effective on dental discoloration caused by medications or injuries. We also can’t whiten dental crowns, fillings, or veneers.
If you ‘re a candidate for whitening, our dental team protects your gums and lips from irritation before applying the whitening gel to your teeth. We also use amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) along with a special blue LED light to accelerate the whitening process without damaging your enamel.
Our whitening system is strong enough to fight discoloration on the surface and inside your teeth, but it won’t make your teeth more sensitive like over-the-counter whitening products can. Our whitening treatments can also provide more satisfactory results than retail products. We lighten your teeth up to eight shades. It only takes about 45-minutes, too.
To help you keep your teeth white and bright between in-office whitening treatments,we give you take-home trays that contain a professional-strength whitening gel. We create the trays by taking impressions of your teeth. The custom trays ensure a great fit in your mouth to minimize gum irritation.
We also provide recommendations to maintain your whiter smile. Schedule routine dental exams and cleanings every six months, brush and floss after each meal, and rinse your teeth after drinking coffee, tea, or other foods that stain.