Discoloration of teeth is a pretty common dental condition and almost all of us are subjected to it. The constant deposition of bacteria on the teeth is the major cause behind teeth staining and it can be quite embarrassing when someone points out to your discolored teeth. Teeth whitening is the process of getting the stains removed, thereby restoring a brighter smile. It can be done in-office or at the comfort of one’s home.
Why do teeth stain?
There are several causes of the discoloration of teeth. Some of the common ones are:
- Excessive consumption of colored foods:The color from foods can combine with the deposited plaque and form a yellowish or brownish layer on the teeth. Sometimes, drinking beverages such as tea, coffee, and aerated drinks can also lead to discoloration.
- Improper brushing: This can leave bacteria on the teeth and form dark patches on the teeth, especially at the interface of two teeth.
- Oral infections: Oral infections and diseases such as cavities, gingivitis, root canal infection can discolor the teeth.
- Tobacco:Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes not only discolors the teeth but is also the major cause of oral cancer.
- Medication:Some medication is known to have a negative effect on the color of the teeth.
How is teeth whitening done?
Teeth whitening is best done in the office by a professional dentist. This usually provides the best and long-lasting results. However, for patients who prefer whitening while at home, our dentists may recommend ‘At-home’ whitening.
- Conventional whitening:It is the basic type of whitening and has been around for a long time. The dentist cleans the teeth and makes sure there are no cavities or cracks that could affect the procedure. A whitening gel, which is essentially an oral bleach, will be applied on the teeth. The gel should remain on the teeth for a few minutes before you rinse it off so that it can remove the stains. The procedure may be repeated multiple times for better results as per the advice of the dentist.
- At-home teeth whitening: People who run on a tight schedule or prefer doing the whitening themselves can opt for this method. It is also called whitening using plastic trays, as the dentist would provide you with custom fabricated plastic trays that fit perfectly on your teeth. A whitening gel should be used with the tray and this ensures maximum contact of the gel with the teeth.
- Laser teeth whitening: This is the most advanced method of teeth whitening. The gel used will be photosensitive, meaning, a laser of a specific wavelength will have to be used to activate the gel. The gel produces foam and helps to get rid of the stains off the teeth surfaces. The best thing about this procedure is that it is highly effective and quick (just about 30 minutes).
Having a stain-free and bright smile is a serious confidence booster. Don’t let the stains on your teeth prevent you from smiling the way you want to.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (831) 438-1861 to have a consultation with Dr. McGraw and we’ll be able to guide you further.