96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to the opposite sex. Three quarters of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person's chance for career success. To the question: What would you like to improve most about your smile? - the most common answer was: whiter and brighter teeth. If you are not satisfied with your smile, Teeth Whitening could be the first step.
What can cause tooth discoloration
Baby teeth are whiter than the adult teeth that appear later. By aging, our teeth often become darker, yellower, or stained. That is the reason why white teeth make people appear more youthful.
As there are a number of ways to lighten or brighten teeth, there are also several different ways for teeth to become discolored. The main causes of darkened teeth are genetics, antibiotics, certain foods and on the top of it, teeth generally tend to darken as we age. The main causes of internal tooth discoloration are exposure to high levels of fluoride, tetracycline, use of antibiotics as a child, developmental disorders, tooth decay, restorations, root canal issues, and trauma.
External tooth discoloration is mostly caused by factors outside the body, mainly foods and tobacco. The main causes of external tooth yellowing are smoking, foods with tannins, coffee, tea, carrots, oranges, and other foods.
There are various ways to whiten your teeth, but the two most common are in-office treatment and the do-it-yourself approach, with over the counter products.
In-Office Teeth Whitening - Professional tooth whitening in a dental office is the preferred whitening method because, even though stronger agents are applied, the rest of the mouth, including the gums is protected from these materials. The best whitening systems feature a buffer in the gel that protects the tooth enamel from damage, are extremely effective, and can transform teeth in a single office visit. Your teeth can literally brighten up to 10 shades in about an hour. In-office whitening affects only the front eight teeth and is a great jump start for take home whitening, which is always part of an effective whitening program.
Your dentist is best qualified to handle any issues that may arise from whitening treatments, such as tooth sensitivity. Today most tooth sensitivity cases are easily managed. Tooth whitening can last for one or more years, depending on how well you take care of your teeth, and if you're following up regularly with a home whitening product for regular maintenance.
Over the Counter or Home Tooth Whitening Systems - Commercially available tooth whitening systems have become popular, mainly because they're relatively inexpensive and easy to use. There are a few over the counter tooth whitening methods that can be purchased without your dentist's supervision. They include whitening strips, paint on tooth gel, mouth trays with gel, whitening toothpaste, and even whitening gum. These are typically safe products, but if you have oral concerns, it's a good idea to ask your dentist if these products are safe to use.
While over-the-counter tooth whitening products are available, dentist supervised tooth whitening remains the safest, most effective method for brightening your smile. Here are some key reasons why you should always consult with your dentist.
Your dentist will use properly fitting mouth trays. Often, the over the counter tooth whitening trays do not fit the patient's mouth properly. Improperly fitting trays may cause the tooth whitening gel to leak, which can result in gum irritation and a less effective treatment. With today's dentist supervised systems, even patients with sensitive teeth can undergo teeth whitening treatment.