No matter how hard we try, most of us will never be able to avoid some level of discoloration on our teeth. Even those who consume diets free from traditionally problematic foods and beverages (like candy and tea) are often unable to escape the realities of tooth staining.

Luckily, professional whitening options are easy to take advantage of and can help get you feeling confident in no time. Some individuals are apprehensive about the "how"s and "why"s behind the whitening process, but we're here to put your mind at ease and encourage you to take the steps to become a brighter, more confident you.

What Factors Destroy the Color of the Teeth?

Tooth discoloration is far from uncommon. Countless factors can contribute to teeth losing their bright white shine. Elements of an individual's daily life like the foods and drinks they consume can impact tooth color; but so can more serious problems like tooth trauma and disease. There are a variety of reasons behind our teeth becoming discolored, and none of them present any cause for shame.

 

A few factors that oftentimes influence tooth discoloration and staining include:

Poor dental hygiene

If your brushing and flossing regiment is inadequate, you may not be removing stain-producing food remnants or plaque from your mouth entirely

Tobacco

Individuals who smoke or chew tobacco frequently have trouble maintaining white teeth

Consuming certain foods and drinks

Some foods and beverages are well-known for staining teeth; if you're a fan of coffee, teas, or red wine, you'll likely run into some trouble with tooth discoloration. Some fruits and vegetables also impact enamel strength and can contribute to discoloration over time

Aging

Our enamel wears down as we age; this can reveal the natural yellowed color of dentin (what our teeth are made of) as the years go on

Genetics

Yes-- it's true! Some individuals are simply predisposed to having brighter, whiter enamel than others

 

What is Involved in the Tooth Whitening Process?

If you elect to use home-use whiteners for your teeth, your dentist will fit you for custom whitening trays designed for your upper and lower teeth. For a number of days or weeks, you'll be using a whitening gel containing peroxide in a concentration selected by your dentist in these trays to whiten your teeth. Your dentist will show you how to apply the whitening gel to the trays and get everything positioned correctly in your mouth.

In some cases, your dentist may suggest that you use over-the-counter whitening agents like toothpastes and gels rather than prescription-grade chemicals and trays. In other, more severe cases, you may be referred to a prosthodontist. The prosthodontist can apply veneers in cases where tooth whitening procedures have failed to ease discoloration and staining.

  

Does Tooth Whitening Last Forever?

Whitening does not last forever. As mentioned above, the aging process alone contributes to tooth yellowing even without the influence of external factors like diet and smoking habits; and, while not all foods have the same impact as coffee or red wine, every bit of food and drink we consume contributes to staining in some small way.

No matter what method you utilize to whiten your teeth, it can't last forever. The bulk of results tend to last anywhere from six months to two years. Your results will depend on what was causing discoloration to begin with and how well you take care of your teeth following the whitening process. In many cases, individuals who whiten their teeth even experience a rebound effect-- your teeth may actually regress and become a little yellower again immediately after treatment.

All of us want a bright white smile; whether you're giving a presentation at work, going on a first date, or even joking around and smiling with loved ones, you'll feel more confident knowing your teeth look their best.

That's why at Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry, we're proud to offer our patients extensive tooth whitening services. Our staff understands how difficult it can be to maintain a bright white smile-- and we want to help you feel confident and joyous when you show off your pearly whites! We're committed to helping you achieve the smile that you deserve.