Whitening toothpaste is sold everywhere, and many people buy it when they're feeling like their smiles aren't as white as they could be. While some people do have positive experiences with whitening toothpastes, that can't be said of everyone. If you're less than thrilled with the results that you've gotten with a whitening toothpaste, this guide will explain why it's not doing its job, why switching to another brand isn't the solution, and what you can do to get the smile you want.
Whitening toothpastes do one thing, and they do it well; they get rid of surface stains. Surface stains are when the enamel of your teeth pick up coloration from the food you eat and the beverages you drink. For example, tea, coffee, wine, and tomato sauces are all known for potentially changing the way that your teeth look. So if your discolored teeth are purely because you have a coffee habit or enjoy a good plate of pasta, chances are you'll be happy with what your whitening toothpaste can do.
Unfortunately, whitening toothpastes don't excel at removing any other kind of stain. In fact, most of them don't do anything to remove other types of stains. So if your teeth aren't white for another reason, it can feel like you've wasted money on that whitening toothpaste.
Other Causes of Discoloration
Teeth can become stained for a wide variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons for discoloration is that the enamel on teeth has worn down.
Enamel is the super-hard layer on the outside of teeth that helps to keep them strong and tough. However, it's also typically white or cream-colored, which gives your teeth a natural luster and shine. When that enamel is worn down from wear and tear, acidic food and drinks, and more, the underlying surfaces of the teeth start to show through. This is where the problem begins for many people.
The underlying structure of your teeth isn't anywhere near as white as the top layer. The dentin layer of the tooth tends to be yellow or brown. As you can imagine, having this layer shine through can make your teeth look gross and discolored. Sadly, whitening toothpaste can't do anything to help with this. All it can do is clean up the enamel itself, but it can't restore lost enamel or change the color of your dentin.
While exposed dentin can make your smile look less than perfect, that doesn't mean that you have to put up with it or just give up. Whitening toothpastes can't help, but your local cosmetic dentist's office can.
Your dentist has access to a wide variety of treatments that can help to restore lost enamel. Restoring lost enamel can help to hide the color of your dentin. In addition, whitening treatments offered by dentists' offices can change the color of your teeth entirely, making even exposed dentin look whiter and nicer. For people with extreme enamel loss, veneers are often an option; they cover up the front of your teeth and give them a perfect appearance that you've probably seen on the smiles of many film stars.
For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Cherry Hill Dentistry LLC.