Originally found onhttp://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening
Thinking about teeth whitening? Get the facts first. Understanding this cosmetic dentistry improvement is simpler than you think. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions about the process.
Why Did My Teeth Change Color?
Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a number of reasons:
Food and Drink
Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they have in common? Intense color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer part of your tooth (enamel).
Two chemicals found intobaccocreate stubborn stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until its mixed with oxygen. Then, it turns into a yellowish, surface-staining substance.
Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area calleddentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
If youve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.
Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life.Chemotherapyand head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.
Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?
No, which is why its important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps,veneers,crownsorfillings. It also wont be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused bymedicationsor atooth injury.
What Are My Whitening Options?
Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are three ways to put the shine back in your smile:
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look for theADA Sealfor safewhitening toothpastesthat have special chemical or polishing agents to provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.
This procedure is calledchairside bleachingand usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.
Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in ageland are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are thinking about using an over-the-counter bleaching kit, discuss options with your dentist and look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be safe and effective for teeth whitening.Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products.
Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experiencetooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.
Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.
For more information on Teeth Whitening or any Cosmetic Dentistry procedure, contact us here at Grace Dental Ed Bishay.