If your smile has faded or yellowed, you may wonder how to whiten and brighten it safely. Knowing more about tooth discolouration and whitening services will eliminate any doubts you may be feeling about the teeth whitening process.
Why Teeth Become Yellow or Discoloured
Teeth fade over time for the following reasons:
Foods and Beverages
Staining beverages, such as coffee and tea, and certain pigments in food can discolour the teeth’s enamel.
If you smoke, the tar and nicotine can darken or yellow the teeth.
Below the enamel of the teeth lies a softer layer called dentin. As the enamel thins, with time, the yellow-appearing dentin can be seen through the enamel.
Some medicines can darken the teeth, such as high blood pressure medications, antipsychotic drugs, or antihistamines. Also, adults who have been exposed to antibiotics, such as tetracycline, during their formative years may display discoloured teeth. Patients who undergo radiation therapy of the neck or chemotherapy may also experience tooth discolouration or darkened teeth.
How Teeth Whitening Can Help
Fortunately, if your teeth are discoloured or faded, you can restore them with a tooth whitening product. One of the most popular outpatient whitening solutions is Zoom! Whitening. This light activation whitening system can be applied during a single appointment and takes about 60 minutes to complete. The results are immediate.
For patients who want whiter teeth but are worried about possible sensitivity, they can receive whitening at home – just not as fast. Usually, in-home whitening takes between one to two weeks to complete. Whether they are administered at home or in the practice, teeth whitening products contain bleaches in the form of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The bleach in the whitening system breaks down stains so the teeth look whiter almost immediately.
Is Whitening a Cure-all Solution?
Teeth whitening will not usually work on greyish-hued teeth, or whiten brown teeth to the patient’s satisfaction. This is because teeth whitening or bleaching products are designed specifically to whiten yellowed teeth. Also, the solution only works on the teeth’s enamel. Therefore, it will not whiten restorations, such as crowns, fillings, veneers, or caps. Discolourations from medicines or injuries usually do not respond well to treatment either.
Before any teeth whitening is begun, you need to consult with your dentist. While whitening toothpastes remove surface stains, in-office and at-home whitening involves the use of a gel and provides more dramatic results. If you opt to use the gel at-home, the dentist will provide you with trays that are fitted over the teeth. The peroxide in the at-home bleach is lower, thereby reducing possible problems with sensitivity.
Preparing for In-office or At-home Whitening
Before you undergo whitening, the dentist will perform a thorough exam to ensure that your gums and teeth are healthy. Whitening cannot be performed without examining the teeth and gums first.
Want to know more about whitening and bleaching options for your teeth? Get in touch with the team today.