Make Your Smile Merry And Bright This Season
Tooth discoloration is a natural part of aging, as it occurs gradually over time. It is not a sign of a serious medical condition, but it does affect the aesthetics of your smile. If you’re self-conscious about your smile and want your teeth to sparkle a little more this season, now is the perfect time to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.
How does discoloration happen?
Teeth discoloration can result from many different factors, but like we mentioned above, age is the most common component. As we get older, the enamel — the white, protective coating on your teeth — begins to disappear from natural wear and tear.
If you’re a smoker, tobacco products such as cigars, pipes, and cigarettes can discolor your teeth over time. The same holds true for coffee, tea, and wine drinkers; compounds like tannins, can stain your teeth slowly.
A lack of oral hygiene
If you tend to skip brushing and flossing twice a day, plaque and tartar can build up causing discoloration.
Some antibiotics such as tetracycline or doxycycline, can darken teeth in children under the age of eight, while other antihistamines and antipsychotics have the side effect of staining adult teeth.
Radiation or chemotherapy
At times disease or treatment of a disease, such as cancer being treated with radiation or chemotherapy, can cause discoloration, and appears as a more brownish — rather than yellow — color.
Facts on teeth whitening
There are some misnomers when it comes to teeth whitening, so let’s explore some basic facts surrounding it.
Your teeth are like skin
In the way your skin has pores, so do your teeth! They’re very sponge-like and absorb what is on them. When your teeth become darker as a result of age, lifestyle habits, oral hygiene issues, certain medications, or from radiation, they soak it up, hence the discoloration. Once your teeth stain, it will never go away unless you take steps to get the stains removed. Scheduling a teeth whitening appointment is your best option for immediate results. So, if you’re planning on smooching a certain someone when the clock strikes midnight and need those pearly whites to glimmer and hither, talk with your dentist!
Teeth whitening is safe
Some people have heard that teeth whitening damages your teeth. Like anything else, if you’re too abrasive, this can cause harm. If you have a prescribed teeth whitening done by a professional, teeth whitening is incredibly safe. Issues arise when teeth whitening is overly aggressive and not done as instructed. The time between teeth whitening sessions allows your teeth to remineralize and your mouth to rehydrate.
Experiencing sensitivity is normal
Tooth sensitivity when whitening your teeth is completely normal. As a result of the whitening procedure, your teeth become temporarily dehydrated which impairs their ability to insulate the nerve. Sensitivity should disappear within 12 to 36 hours after the procedure, so in that time, try to avoid sudden temperature changes in your mouth — for example,drinking hot tea and then eating ice cream.
Don’t be duped by overnight products
If you’re looking for more permanent teeth whitening results, products that offer results overnight or over a couple of days, won’t necessarily give those results. Teeth whitening happens gradually, with a series of appointments. The great news is, once your stains have been removed, it’s much more easy to maintain.
Dental implants or veneers cannot be whitened
When implants or veneers are placed, they are matched to your surrounding teeth color at that time. If you are considering teeth whitening, either do it before those procedures, or know that they cannot be whitened.
Foods that naturally whiten teeth
While foods will not give you clinical results like your dentist, there are some that can help maintain a whitened smile, or preventative steps to take before your appointment.
- Strawberries – This fruit seems like it would do the opposite because of its bright, red color, but don’t be fooled! The magical malic acid in strawberries is astringent in nature and can help remove surface stains. Some people even mash them up and brush them around their teeth!
- Nuts and seeds – think of these foods as natural exfoliators for your teeth. Their texture gently scrubs the surface of the tooth.
- Cheese – This delicious dairy product contains a milk protein called casein which supports teeth enamel and mineralization, and helps you keep your beautiful, pearly smile.
- Broccoli – Eat broccoli in the raw and it acts as a natural toothbrush that cleans your teeth while you eat. Additionally, the high iron content can coat the enamel and ward off scid, harmful bacteria, and stains.
Dr. Mojgan Mazhari DDS
At Dr. Mojgan Mazhari DDS we’re here for every part of your smile. From cosmetic dentistry to dental implants. If you’re ready to make your teeth merry and bright this season, give our office a call today!