People are genetically programmed with different colors of teeth, but whitening can lighten the color for the better. As a person ages, teeth begin to darken and naturally change color. Stains appear in a multitude of colors. The colors can range from yellow and brown to black, gray and even pink. Since natural tooth color is genetic, many family members have the same base shade. Teeth whitening lightens natural shades and can rid the teeth of discoloration from many stains.
Trauma to a tooth can change the color of a tooth. This condition requires a visit to the dentist, as it is likely that the internal, nerve portion of the tooth may have been damaged and need attention. In some instances, after a traumatized tooth has been treated, the inside of the tooth can be treated with a whitening agent, reverting the tooth back to a more natural, lighter color.
Many products are available for people to whiten their teeth, and some are better than others. Whitening strips can be quite effective, as they are gentle on your teeth. Toothpaste and mouthwashes are not as effective, because they do not stay in contact with your teeth to work as well as other techniques. Gels can be used in conjunction with a mouth tray, allowing your teeth to soak in solution. Although harsher, it has a longer effect. Other methods are laser bleaching and bleaching pens. Some only whiten the surface of the teeth, and others actually penetrate the teeth and have the ability to whiten deeper stains. A chemical beaching product must be present to remove deep stains. The effects of teeth whitening is seldom permanent, and younger people usually have longer effects.
Other methods other than bleaching and whitening agents are available to lighten your teeth. Composite resin (filling material) can be bonded to the front of your tooth to lighten the color. Veneer, a shell-like porcelain facing can be attached to the front of your tooth in a lighter shade. Although both methods work well, they are more expensive and invasive to your teeth. A dentist can help you decide what method is best for you.
Tips and Warnings
- Teeth whitening can be difficult for some people, as gum recession can expose parts of your teeth that are too sensitive to bleach
- Cracked teeth may also be too sensitive to bleach
- Find a whitening product with the American Dental Association's seal of approval
- Brush and floss your teeth well before whitening
- Follow directions to avoid unwanted damage to your teeth and gum
Once teeth have been whitened, stains can reappear. Many stains can be removed during a standard cleaning at the dentist office. Coffee, cigarette smoking, tea, soda and red wines bond more readily to teeth after whitening. Eventually teeth return to their natural shade, so occasional whitening may be a necessary touch-up. If you are looking to whiten your teeth, you are not alone, says teeth whitening Marietta, GA dentist.