Have you noticed your teeth change colour ….. going from white to not so bright?
There are many reason teeth can change colour or get stained. From the foods consumed, and trauma to medication, age and visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings.
Food and Drinks
Certain foods and drinks have intense colour pigments that attach to the white outer part of the tooth (enamel) causing colour change. Such foods and drinks are: Coffee, tea, red wine, candy and foods containing colour.
Tar and nicotine create stains. Tar is naturally dark and although nicotine is colourless when mixed with oxygen it turns into a yellowish surface-staining substance.
The enamel of the tooth is white however the layer under the enamel, called dentin, is yellowish. With age, as the enamel gets thiner, more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
If you have hit your tooth you may notice it get darker as a reaction to the injury, by laying down more dentin.
Certain medications can also cause teeth to change colour and darken. Be sure to speak to your dentist if you have concerns that the medication you are taking are causing your teeth to change colour.
The best way to keep your teeth white is to brush twice a day, floss daily, see your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings, and limit stain-causing foods and habits. However if you feel your teeth can use a little whitening help, there are a few options you may want to consider:
Chair-Side Bleaching – usually takes about 2 hours. A shield (or rubber dam) protects your gums from the bleaching agent (usually a form or hydrogen peroxide) which is “painted” onto your discoloured teeth and activated with heat or high-intensity light.
Take-Home Bleaching – is done by you at home. You wear a custom-made tray with special bleaching gel (provided by your dentist) for a period of time each day over a number of weeks. You may also use Crest Whitestrips Supreme which can be purchased at our office.
It’s important to know that not everyone’s teeth will “whiten” the same. It depends on the number of teeth involved and the severity of discolouration. Over-the-counter, at-home whiteners are not recommended because they may cause problems associated with over exposing gum tissues to the active whitening agent. Any bleaching treatment should be done under your dentist’s supervision.