A white bright smile can be a confidence booster and a great way to get noticed. Depending on our everyday choices, we may not have the smile we always wanted. Wine, smoking, tea, soda and other foods and beverages can cause teeth staining.
What causes yellow teeth?
There are numerous types of teeth stains; some are genetic, environmental or pharmacological in nature. The most common are surface stains on the enamel or beneath the enamel in the dentin. Surface stains are caused by foods, beverages and lifestyle behaviors, like smoking. Over time, surface stains may penetrate the enamel and change the color of the dentin, which darkens the overall appearance of the tooth due to the translucency of the enamel layer. When this occurs, the tooth often appears yellow.
What teeth whitening options are there?
There are many whitening options, from OTC toothpastes, rinses and strips, to professionally supervised solutions such as Philips Zoom in-office and take-home whitening.
How do whitening products remove surface stains?
Certain products may remove surface stains by using abrasion or through a chemical reaction. Whitening toothpastes may contain silica molecules that polish the enamel. Rechargeable toothbrushes such as Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean use the action of the bristles on the tooth surface to remove the stains.
How do whitening products remove stains below the enamel?
Whitening products including hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which cause a chemical reaction that breaks apart the carbon bonds that create yellow stains. Once the bonds are broken, they no longer reflect a yellow color.
Is teeth whitening safe for my teeth?
As you would with any product you use on your body, be sure to follow the teeth whitening directions carefully. Some whitening products can irritate your gums or cause undue sensitivity if used improperly or too often.
The safest way to whiten your teeth is under the supervision of your dental professional who will assess your overall oral health, the health of your teeth and know the history of your teeth. For example, if your dental professional knows that you are prone to sensitivity, he or she may recommend a gentle formulation to ensure you get the results you are looking for with a treatment that you will enjoy.
How long does my treatment last?
Most whitening services are designed to last for a long period of time, but relapse is not uncommon due to personal behaviors that restain your teeth.