[caption id="attachment_850" align="aligncenter" width="500"] When is it time to drop everything and get help?[/caption] Tooth pain can be a real...well...pain. But sometimes it’s hard to know whether your discomfort is...
Feeling self-conscious about a darkened smile? Know that you don’t have to live with yellowed enamel. No matter the reason for your dental stains, there’s a way to reverse the problem. And once you’re in possession of a whiter smile, there are steps you can take to keep it for years to come.
How Teeth Become Stained
There are two types of stains: intrinsic and extrinsic. The intrinsic stains are formed during tooth development, as a result of poor nutrition or certain medications. Your teeth may also be yellow as a result of worn enamel, which allows the dark dentin layer beneath to show through. These types of stains aren’t affected by teeth whitening, because that breaks up stains in the enamel. Intrinsic stains run deeper, and will need to be corrected with porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns. These restorations cover the natural surfaces of your teeth, brightening your smile.
Extrinsic stains are more easily handled. They’re caused by daily habits, foods, and drinks. As you live your life, staining compounds pass over your teeth. These lodge in your enamel, where they build up to eventually change your smile’s shade. The top culprits behind staining are tobacco use, and frequent consumption of acidic or dark-colored foods and beverages. Plaque buildup also darkens the teeth.
First Step: In-Office Teeth Whitening in Dalton
If your smile isn’t as bright as you’d like it to be, you’re missing out on confidence and happiness that will boost your daily life. Deciding to change your teeth is the first step. Schedule a cosmetic consultation to see whether teeth whitening is right for you.
Once you’ve decided on whitening treatment, you need only schedule an appointment. By the end of treatment, a whiter smile will be in place. Professional whitening agents break up stains within the space of an hour. You’ll be able to get back to your day without sensitivity, and with a proud smile in place.
Maintaining a Brighter Smile
Once your teeth are whiter, you’ll no doubt be interested in keeping them that way. Here are just a few tips for patients seeking whitening longevity:
- Sip with a straw – When you’re drinking something that may darken your teeth, choose a straw to protect your teeth from the dark liquid. This keeps it from washing over your teeth as you drink. We know it’s not always convenient to use a straw, but try to do so at home, or when you’re not embarrassed by the choice.
- Rinse with water – After eating and drinking, swish water around in your mouth to remove food particles and prevent stains.
- Brush and floss carefully – Excellent oral hygiene will remove bacteria and acids before they can affect your teeth.
- Strengthen your enamel with fluoride – Thick enamel is white enamel. Using fluoridated dental products gives your enamel a boost.
- Avoid acidity – Acidic drinks like citrus juice, coffee, and cola will wear away your enamel and cause the inner dentin to show through. Try to be conservative when imbibing.
- Schedule regular exams – Regular dental exams allow our team to perform scaling and remove plaque buildup. The result is a whiter, cleaner, healthier smile.
- Touch up your whitening at home – If you’re interested, we’ll provide a home whitening kit to give your treatment a boost when you need it.
If you’re ready to whiten, just get in touch with Barton Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We’ll evaluate your smile, and decide whether whitening is a safe bet. If you experience sensitivity when whitening, we may offer a strengthening fluoride treatment prior to the big day.