There can be many reasons why our teeth become yellow. From how we take care of our teeth to the things we drink and eat, little steps that you take or dont take will make all the difference.
Regular brushing and flossing to avoid tartar, plaque buildup, and discoloration are extremely important to maintaining a clean and healthy smile. One of the most common reasons people get stains on their teeth is because plaque build-up picks up stains from coffee or tea very easily. Unless the plaque build-ups are removed, stains won’t disappear. It is very essential to maintain very good oral hygiene at home as well as by having regular cleanings. We do recommend it twice a year.
Also, the thickness of the enamel matters when it comes to the color of the teeth. When you wear down teeth from clenching or grinding, the dentin layer which is the layer below the enamel shows through more and it can affect the shade of the teeth. Drinking acidic or carbonated drinks can erode the enamel due to the acids and make teeth look more yellow.
These days, a lot of people use whitening toothpaste. As a dentist, I do not recommend whitening toothpaste because it whitens teeth by using coarse and abrasive particles in the toothpaste and scrubs away the outermost layer of the teeth along with any stains. It can result in the thinness of the enamel and weakening of the tooth structure.
So, can we whiten our teeth? Of course! We recommend take-home whitening trays or in-office whitening systems. Both are chemically whitening the teeth and do not weaken tooth structure. Also, we recommend not doing it more than once a year. Take-home will be under the lower concentrations but it usually gives a better result if you are very compliant and use it over 4-6 weeks. In-office whitening system is very convenient for people who are busy and do not want to deal with it for 4-6 weeks everyday.
Many people ask if OTC whitening strips will work. It simply is not as effective due to a very low concentration of whitening gels. It had to be in order to be available to anyone over the counter.
Any questions about whitening? Please ask us any questions to our experts at your next cleaning. Right after cleaning is the best time for you to consider whitening since all the extrinsic factors of stains have been removed. Also ask us about our whitening special!