In a 2012 survey conducted by the Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, most respondents indicated they wanted whiter, brighter teeth. At Apple Dental we constantly strive to educate Calgarians about their teeth and how to achieve their goals, so this month we’re going to talk about teeth stains and whitening.
There are two types of stains, intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are the most easily dealt with. Simple, mechanical interventions such as brushing with a whitening toothpaste or professional prophylaxis can reduce tooth coloration due to extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic stains are a bit harder to deal with. These stains occur beneath the tooth enamel. They are usually related to aging where the enamel is thinning and the yellow dentin is allowed to show through. Intrinsic stains can also occur because of long-term antibiotic use, fluorosis, amalgam restorations, age, or pulp necrosis.
Reduction of internal staining, sometimes known as “bleaching,” involves a chemical reaction that changes the color of your tooth. The most common ingredients used to accomplish this are carbamide and hydrogen peroxide. These products can be purchased over-the-counter or given to you by a dentist as an in-office treatment. Products delivered by a dentist are often delivered in custom trays intended for easy, at home use.
Teeth whitening can occur with simple lifestyle changes as well. Smoking as well as excessive coffee/tea drinking will cause stained teeth. Quitting smoking and choosing transparent, clear beverages will help avoid stains. But if your teeth are already stained, we suggest working with your dentist. They’ll have the best advice for choosing the right tools and using them appropriately. Remember, using whitening products that aren’t approved by the Canadian Dental Association is likely ineffective and may even damage your teeth. Furthermore, using whitening toothpaste every day can, believe it or not, actually make your teeth look worse. Another point to be aware of when using whitening products is that they can have side effects. There is a risk of temporary teeth sensitivity with the use of all whitening products. Gingivitis (gum disease) may also occur from using whitening products incorrectly, causing oral pain and inflamed gums. That’s why it’s important to work with your dentist.
Have you been looking for a solution to whiter, brighter looking teeth? Not having much luck with your current teeth whitening products? Contact our team today at Apple Dental Group, and we will do our best to provide the solutions you are looking for!