The whiteness of your teeth can dramatically affect the attractiveness of your smile. Teeth that are dingy or yellow may seem dirty and unsightly.
Still, the color of your teeth is not necessarily indicative of your oral health. Teeth may be discolored due to trauma, a congenital defect, food and beverage-based pigments, tartar, or side effects from a medication.
Discoloration from tartar can be removed by a professional dental cleaning. Here are a few additional ways to whiten your teeth.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Kits
Teeth-whitening kits that contain a peroxide-based bleaching agent are available for purchase from local stores without a prescription. These kits usually include a mouth tray, brush, or plastic strips to apply the product.
The whitening kits also include instructions, indicating the amount of time that the product should be left on the teeth and the frequency of application. If the consumer fails to adhere to the instructions, they may incur chronic dental sensitivity, so it is best to use the products only as directed.
Chemical whiteners, such as those in whitening kits, are often effective at removing stains from the foods, beverages, and tobacco that you ingest. However, they do not whiten teeth that are discolored due to a birth defect, a blow to the mouth, or medicinal side effects.
Dentist-Applied Whitening Products
Whitening products are also available for application by a dental professional. Professional dental bleaching products tend to whiten the teeth more effectively and efficiently than over-the-counter products.
The dentist applies the dental bleach to the front tooth surfaces while protecting the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth. After applying the bleaching product, it is allowed to rest on the teeth for the suggested time. The coated teeth may be exposed to an ultraviolet light to increase the whitening effects of the product.
Still, multiple applications of the product may be required to complete the whitening of the teeth, especially if the teeth are heavily stained.
Porcelain Veneers and Dental Crowns
A veneer or dental cap can correct permanent discoloration by covering the discolored natural crown of a tooth. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that is applied to the front of a tooth. A dental cap is a hollow prosthetic crown that fits over an entire natural dental crown. The whiteness that results from a veneer or cap application is based on the shade of the porcelain material that is selected.
If you suffer from dental discoloration, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Labowe Stuart DDS.