There’s no greater confidence-booster than having a stunning smile. That’s why our patients often ask how they can get—and keep! —their teeth looking white. If you’d like to learn more about how you can brighten your smile, check out these answers to your pressing questions!
1. Why do I have stains on my teeth?
There are a number of reasons you might have tooth discoloration. You may have stains on your teeth as a result of eating certain foods or using tobacco products. Your teeth also change color as you age due to the thinning of your white dental enamel—this exposes the yellowish dentin layer beneath. Trauma to the teeth and certain medications (such as antihistamines and blood pressure medications) can also cause your teeth to yellow.
2. What foods cause discoloration?
There are a number of foods that can stain your teeth. Coffee and tea are two of the more well-known culprits. You should also avoid sugary foods and drinks such as soda, sports drinks, and candy, as these lead to tooth decay and cause your teeth to lose their sparkling whiteness. Some more surprising foods that cause stains include curry, tomato sauce, wine, soy sauce, and acidic fruits like grapefruit and berries. When consuming these foods, it is important to brush your teeth right away, as this can help protect your teeth and remove the food residue before it leaves a stain.
3. Will a whitening treatment affect my dental restorations?
Tooth whitening procedures do not affect restorative treatments such as fillings, crowns, or veneers. However, it can temporarily impact the strength of the bond that connects dental restorations to your enamel. Before beginning a whitening treatment, be sure to discuss your restorations with your dentist to ensure that this procedure is right for you.
4. How does professional teeth whitening work?
The process of getting your teeth professionally whitened is actually quite simple. Usually, getting this treatment only requires one appointment. First, we will clean your teeth to remove food debris, plaque, and tartar from your enamel. We will then apply a whitening solution directly onto your enamel and activate the gel using a laser or heat lamp. You will see visible results almost immediately!
5. How can I maintain my whiter smile after a whitening treatment?
If your teeth are well-maintained, your whitening treatment can last for months after your appointment. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and after meals. Quitting smoking can also considerably improve your smile, as the tar and nicotine within cigarettes can leave tough stains on your dental enamel. You should also try to avoid the known stain-causing foods listed above to keep your smile sparkling white. Above all, keeping your mouth healthy is the most important factor in getting a whiter smile. Be sure to schedule routine dental appointments every six months to get a healthier, whiter smile.
Do you want a whiter smile? Oradent Associates can help! Call our Chicago office today to schedule your professional whitening treatment.