Nothing says success quite like dazzling, white teeth. Each year, people across the country spend countless hours and extraordinary amounts of money in the struggle to whiten their smiles. While many are prepared to have cosmetic dentistry procedures to achieve the smile they want, others wonder if home remedies can offer similar results. But before you enter the world of DIY teeth whitening, consider a few reasons why your smile lacks luster.
Common Causes of Yellow Teeth
The part of your teeth that you see is called the enamel. This porous material protects the tooth’s internal structure, but it is also susceptible to stains. The things you eat, drink or do with your teeth can all have an effect on the color you see in the mirror. For instance, using tobacco, drinking coffee or red wine or failing to see your dentist for regular dental cleanings can all cause your teeth to appear stained. These surface stains respond well to DIY teeth whitening. Another likely cause of yellow teeth is thin enamel that fails to adequately conceal the brownish dentin inside. If this is the case, your dentist can offer cosmetic procedures that will not only strengthen your enamel but also give you a whiter smile.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Many name brands have spent millions of dollars extolling the virtues of their whitening strips or whitening toothpaste. While these products are marketed to give you results in as little as one hour, they all contain the same ingredient – carbamide peroxide. This substance removes surface stains on your teeth but can also cause sensitivity if the concentration is too high or if the product is left on longer than recommended. Additionally, whitening "strips" tend to slide once they are placed on the teeth, making it difficult to achieve promised results.
Food & Drink
If you want to achieve a whiter smile, you may not need to look further than the foods you eat and the things you drink. Cutting back on coffee or red wine or brushing your teeth immediately after consuming these beverages can reduce the likelihood of stains. Strawberries and pineapple both have enzymes that have been shown to brighten teeth. Combine a puree of strawberries or pineapple and baking soda to create a natural toothpaste that can give you a brighter smile without the risk of sensitivity.
Prescription Whitening Systems
Your dentist can prescribe whitening systems that effectively change the color of your teeth. Whether the system consists of at-home whitening trays and carbamide peroxide gel, or in-office procedures aided by UV light, your dentist can prescribe the type of whitening procedure that will give you optimal results with minimal time.
If you are interested in any of these methods, feel free to call us at Trailhead Dental to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you create a beautiful, whiter smile.