Teeth discoloration can be caused by many factors, including dental hygiene, diet, medication use, and medical conditions, and smoking. Teeth discoloration is a concern for almost everyone, but it can be improved with a variety of whitening techniques. Depending on how teeth discoloration has occurred, some whitening strategies may be more effective than others.
Whitening products improve teeth discoloration in one of two ways:
- Physical: Whitening toothpastes contain silica particles. These particles help improve teeth discoloration by polishing the tooth enamel. But physical stain removal may not be enough if you have more severe teeth discoloration. Whitening toothpastes do not contain bleach, and they only improve teeth discoloration by about one shade of whiteness.
- Chemical: Chemical products such as whitening strips provide a more dramatic improvement in teeth discoloration. These products contain varying amounts of whitening agents. The whitening agent oxidizes the molecules in the stains to improve teeth discoloration. When using chemical teeth whitening, the degree and duration of teeth whitening depends in part on the strength of the bleaching agent.
Some people choose to have their teeth whitened professionally, but it can be a bit daunting and expensive. If you’re not sure what to do, start by swapping out your oral hygiene products for a whitening toothpaste, a whitening mouthwash and teeth whitening strips, and evaluate your smile from there. Here’s how whitestrips, whitening toothpaste, and mouthwash can make a difference:
Whitestrips: Teeth whitening strips can remove teeth stains below the enamel surface to dramatically improve your smile. Crest® 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste.*
Whitening Toothpaste: Brushing your teeth with whitening toothpaste improves your ability to remove surface stains. Using Crest 3D White Brilliance can help remove 95% of surface stains in 3 days.
*when toothpaste is used for 4 weeks.
Whitening Mouthwash: Whitening mouthwash that include an ADA-approved teeth whitening agent, whitens your teeth through contact by removing surface stains.
Teeth stain removal can be achieved by several teeth-whitening procedures:
- Professional teeth whitening at your dentist’s office
- At-home professional teeth-whitening kit from your dentist
- At-home professional teeth-whitening kit available over-the-counter
- he regular use of whitening mouthwashes, whitening pastes, and whitening strips
Your dentist can provide instant results with in-office bleaching. However, whitening your teeth at home gives you a beautiful smile in the comfort and convenience of your own home, at a more reasonable price.
Teeth stain removal early on lets you match dental work—veneers, bonding, fillings, crowns, and bridges—to your newly whitened teeth shade. If you bleach after dental work, the bleach will not lighten manufactured teeth, and you may need new dental work to match your new tooth shade.
If bleaching doesn’t help with teeth stain removal, ask your dentist about dental bonding and veneers that cover up the stained teeth. This is expensive, but it also gives you a beautiful smile.
To prevent a recurrence of teeth discoloration, be sure to follow a regular oral care routine of toothbrushing and flossing. Need another reason to floss? Remember that flossing in particular helps prevent teeth discoloration by reducing the formation of stain-causing plaque on the teeth.
- Vogel R. Intrinsic and extrinsic discolouration of the dentition: A review. Journal of Oral Medicine. 1975;30:99-104
- 3-D WHITENING: The Science Behind a White, Bright and Beautiful Smile. P&G Oral Care Science.
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