Teeth tend to stain over time for numerous reasons. One of the main factors that leads to teeth discoloration in which we cannot change is our age. With age the outer layer of the tooth, also known as tooth enamel, becomes worn down and leads to the appearance of the yellow-tinted inner layer called dentin. Traumatic accidents may also cause teeth to change color as a result of the inner nerves becoming damaged.
Lifestyle habits like tobacco use, and the consumption of staining agents like coffee, tea, red wine, curry, and acidic foods and beverages for instance can lead to teeth staining. Certain medications, including antihistamines, antipsychotics, and blood pressure medications have even been found to darken the shade of teeth.
Is teeth whitening effective in removing tooth discoloration?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), teeth whitening treatments can be effective on stains inside and outside of teeth. In some cases, however, teeth whitening may not be able to work on certain stains. For instance, teeth with crowns, veneers, fillings, and other dental restorations will not reap the benefits of teeth whitening. In addition, tooth discoloration caused by certain medications or a traumatic injury may not respond to teeth whitening.
Professional teeth whitening is a relatively quick and simple procedure. It often is completed in one office visit, and takes approximately a half an hour to 90 minutes to apply to your teeth.
Professional whitening treatments have been found to whiten your teeth by several shades. In most treatments, your dental professional will apply a protective gel on your gums, followed by a whitening gel or paste that is applied to your teeth. A special LED light may also be used to activate the bleaching agent.
To maintain your bright smile, it is best to limit common stain offenders, including coffee, tea, wine, sodas, and foods and beverages with dyes. It is also necessary to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth daily to remove dental bacterial plaque and surface stains from the teeth. Staying hydrated with water will also help keep your smile shiny.