Teeth most often become discolored due to environmental issues. This includes beverages and foods that leave stains on the teeth, as well as smoking. Stained teeth most often occur due to exposure to coffee, tea, or tobacco, though other beverages such as red wines or dark fruits and juices can also lead to staining.
Can all types of discoloration be treated with teeth whitening?
The most common type of staining is extrinsic staining, which is staining that occurs only on the surface of the teeth. Extrinsic staining usually responds well to teeth whitening. However, intrinsic staining, which is a result of exposure to certain substances while the teeth are developing, does not. This type of staining is not limited to the tooth surface, but is a part of the tooth’s overall makeup.
Do over the counter products really work?
With the wide variety of over the counter teeth whitening products available, many people choose to whiten their teeth at home rather than seeing the dentist. These products, however, are not as effective as those your dentist uses. Over the counter products are not as strong as those used in the dental office. They are also more likely to irritate your gums, tongue, or lips, as these tissues are not protected as they would be by professional treatment.
How Tooth Whitening Works
Tooth whitening can be accomplished in the dental office, with at-home treatments, or with a combination of both. With in-office treatments, a whitening agent is applied to the teeth, left on for fifteen or twenty minutes, then removed and reapplied. After a typical session, your teeth can be lightened anywhere from seven to ten shades, depending upon the type of product used.
Your dentist may suggest an at-home treatment which involves custom made plastic trays. A whitening agent is placed in the tray and worn for a prescribed amount of time. The whitening agent provided by your dentist is a much more effective and produces better results.
For more information about teeth whitening in the Grand Prairie area, please contact our dental office to schedule a consultation.