When your teeth have become discolored, your confidence can be affected. Suddenly, you find yourself shying away from the camera, which is hard to escape in an age where cell phones have cameras and can instantly upload images for the whole world to see. If you hide your smile, people may get the impression that you aren't friendly or that you lack a sense of humor. If you do smile, your discolored teeth might give others the impression that you are older than you really are. At Ford Dental Group, your concerns over your smile are heard. We can help you get back your beautiful white teeth, and your confidence, with teeth whitening.
What Causes Discolored Teeth?
There are multiple culprits of tooth discoloration:
Food and beverages, including coffee, tea and red wine. Dark foods and beverages contain pigments that attach to the enamel (the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth).
Tobacco products. This includes both smoking and chewing varieties. Both contain tar and nicotine, along with hundreds of other harmful and carcinogenic chemicals, that can absorb into enamel.
Certain medications like antihistamines, asthma medications, or blood pressure medications may lead to staining. Medications such as tetracycline or doxycycline can harm the developing teeth of children, and even have the ability to affect the permanent teeth of an unborn child if the mother takes these medications while pregnant.
Age. Your teeth naturally discolor over time, as your enamel wears. As it becomes thinner, the darker dentin (the inner layer of your teeth) begins to show through.
Natural Food Whitening
Just as certain food items can cause teeth discoloration, there are also food items that can have the opposite effect.
Try supplementing your diet with such food items, and enjoy not only whiter teeth, but also the nutritional benefits that they bring.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is one of those types of food that requires you to chew a lot and that's a good thing for teeth. The more chewing is involved, the more saliva is produced and the better it is for your teeth as saliva can act as a natural cleanser to help keep your teeth healthy and shining bright.
Cheese and yogurt: While this can seem like a counterintuitive idea as sugar isn't exactly all too good for teeth and both food items have a lot of sugar, they do make up for it by being high in calcium. The sugar found in such food items also is not as unhealthy as once thought. Regularly munching on these can help provide your teeth with the necessary nutrition to keep the tooth enamel strong and healthy.
Apples: Based on how chewing apples help scrub your teeth off of stains and other food particles alone, they'd already warrant inclusion on this list. However, apples also contain high concentrations of malic acid, an ingredient that helps promote saliva production, which helps keep the teeth clean and free from stains.
Pineapple: Pineapple is a unique fruit in that it's the only food that contains bromelain naturally. Bromelain is a compound with anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties, as well as an effective ingredient used in many stain-removing toothpastes.
Teeth Whitening in the Office
Choosing a whitening service at our office is generally the best option for whitening your teeth safely and effectively. While there are a variety of systems available at your local pharmacy or super store, these options have pros and cons that you need to consider before you use them.
Typically, at-home teeth whitening systems are easy to use and come in gel, strip, or tray form, and you can feel confident that the solutions are safe. They also allow for the convenience of whitening on your own schedule. Unfortunately, at-home systems tend to cause sensitivity to both the teeth and the gums, and they can be less effective than dental whitening options. Many stains require professional assistance for removal, and trying to whiten around these areas could cause discoloration.
If you are interested in whitening your teeth, and would like to know what options we have available, contact our office today to discuss your options!
Teeth Whitening With Custom Trays
It is an age old rule: as time passes teeth darken. Enamel simply absorbs stain from food and drink over the years. Yes, some liquids such as coffee and especially tea seem to cause rapid stain build-up. Even medications like chlorohexidene contribute to it.
Our office now offers a healthy antidote to normal dental staining. We have both an in-office and an at-home brightening procedure. The product is effective and gentle. All of our patients and staff members who have chosen the "Opalescence Technique" are pleased with their new bright smiles.
The teeth whitening product is placed in a custom vinyl tray for 20-30 minutes per day for two weeks. As each day passes, patients notice incremental whitening. This is a slow and gentle procedure and sensitivity is normally minimal or non-existent. The in-office technique involves a gentle one hour procedure in which a ultra-violet light sensitive product is placed on isolated teeth. The whitening material is activated by a "blue light" and this is followed up with the two week "at-home" process.