As you can tell from its name, cosmetic dentistry is all about improving how a person’s smile looks, and nothing can ruin a smile more easily than stained teeth. Dentists have developed both over-the-counter products and professional teeth whitening services that you could be taking advantage of. At Above Dental, we’re proud to offer professional treatments for eligible patients wanting whiter teeth in North Bend and Coos Bay.
Why are my teeth stained?
So, you might be wondering, why do teeth become stained in the first place? The answer, however, is slightly more complicated than you might’ve guessed. The truth is that discoloration of the teeth can happen for a variety of reasons, not all of which, unfortunately, are preventable.
The most common causes of teeth whitening include:
- Consumption of certain foods and drinks: Have you ever noticed that your teeth seem yellow after drinking coffee or tea? This is because both coffee and tea happen to be just some of the drinks that can discolor your teeth. Other “danger” foods and drinks include cherries, blueberries, soft drinks, and red wines. Avoiding these foods (or making sure to brush your teeth well after eating them) can help you minimize discoloration from these sources.
- Taking certain medications: Taking the medicine your doctor prescribes is always important, but sometimes the side effects of those medications aren’t just headaches or minor fevers. Some types of drugs like antihistamines, antidepressants and high blood pressure medicine can contribute to the staining in your teeth. Of course, these medicines are often unavoidable, so you should try to brush your teeth well to minimize the effect.
- Some dental treatments: Medicine isn’t the only good thing that can cause your teeth to change color. Some dental treatments can as well. For example, dental procedures that involve the use of materials like amalgam fillings can cast a gray tint on the nearby teeth. Trying to find alternatives to these procedures, like a composite filling instead of an amalgam one, can help avoid these sources of discoloration.
- Smoking: Both tobacco and nicotine can stain teeth.
- Physical trauma: Just like hitting your leg against a table may cause a bruise, damage done to a tooth may cause color changes as well. If you’ve ever accidentally chipped or cracked a tooth as the result of a fall or some other source of blunt trauma, it’s very possible that your teeth will darken as a result.
- Poor oral hygiene: Perhaps most importantly, poor oral hygiene habits can cause discoloration. Brushing your teeth doesn’t just prevent cavities; it also thoroughly cleans your mouth of any leftover food residue. A lack of good hygiene habits can actually increase the effects of other staining agents.
- Genetics: Unfortunately, you may be doing everything right and still notice your teeth darken over time. This is because some people just happen to be more genetically prone to discoloration. There’s not much you can do about it, which is why you might be gratified to find out more about teeth whitening.
- Age: Sometimes your teeth might just be changing color because staining often goes hand in hand with aging. Doctors haven’t figured out a way to prevent aging yet, but, luckily for you, dentists have developed methods (like teeth whitening) to reverse some of the effects of aging.
How does teeth whitening work?
Because having clean-looking teeth is so important, the market is currently flooded with many teeth whitening products and options. Chances are, if you drop by your local pharmacy, you can find a myriad of brands. Washes, special toothpastes, and even gels exist for the purpose of do it yourself whitening.
So, why have teeth whitening done by a dentist? The answer is very simple: professionals have access to much more powerful whitening solutions that require training to handle. For example, one of the most common professional whitening products is a strong chemical that is repetitively washed over the teeth. It might not sound like much, but such chemicals can be very dangerous if improperly used, which is why the treatment is reserved for professional dentists and hygienists.
If you feel like your teeth have become stained and would like to see what whitening could do for you, you should set up an appointment with Above Dental today! Only a professional diagnosis can accurately determine the exact procedure that you need.
You can set up a time to talk with one of our Above Dental dentists by calling (541) 756-0155 or by visiting our website today!