Teeth whitening is a highly requested service. According to the U.S. Census and Simmons National Consumer Survey, 37 million Americans used tooth whiteners in 2020. Teeth whitening was also the answer for 90% of people surveyed by The Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry when they asked people how they would improve their smile. Whiter teeth make people feel more confident so it’s no wonder teeth whitening is popular.
Reasons Teeth Aren’t White
Your teeth can change color over time, sometimes turning yellow, or even gray. Below are some of the most common reasons your teeth change color.
- Food & Drink – Foods such as soy sauce, tomato-based sauces, berries, and beets can cause teeth staining. Beverages including coffee, tea, soda, and red wine all contribute to teeth staining as well. The dark color of some of these foods and drinks, and acidity can play a part in why they stain teeth.
- Age – As you age, the enamel on your teeth starts to thin out, which can show more of the dentin (which is yellow). The effect is a darker and duller smile.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause tooth discoloration including antihistamines, some mental health medications, and high blood pressure medication. Chemotherapy can also discolor and damage teeth.
- Injury – Teeth that are injured can also become darker. This is the result of the dentin, a darker layer under the enamel, thickening in response to the injury.
- Tobacco Products – Tobacco contains tar and nicotine—both of which stain teeth brown and yellow.
How to Whiten Your Teeth
The best method of teeth whitening is to use professional products provided by the dentist. Dr. Barker and her team can evaluate your needs and provide you with the products you need to whiten your teeth at home.
Professional products won’t be too abrasive which can damage your enamel (like charcoal or baking soda). In addition, professional teeth whitening products are less likely to cause pain, although some temporary tooth sensitivity is common.
If regular teeth whitening methods don’t work, you may be a good candidate for cosmetic bonding with BIOCLEAR. This method is essentially pain-free and is an effective substitute for traditional veneers and crowns. BIOCLEAR is composite bonding that is a great option for fixing chipped teeth, closing small gaps, and improving the overall appearance of your smile.
Preventing Tooth Stains
There are a few ways you can prevent tooth staining and keep your teeth whiter. Try these tactics to keep your teeth whiter after your professional teeth whitening from Smiles By Design.
- Limit the amount of coffee and tea you consume. If you do eat or drink something that can stain your teeth, rinse your mouth out afterward.
- When possible, use a straw for drinking which will bypass your teeth and reduce staining.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing and regular cleanings at the dentist will help keep your teeth white.
- Chew sugar-free gum to help increase your saliva, without the sugar.
- Eat lots of crunchy fruit and vegetables like apples, celery and carrots. These foods will help you produce saliva and scrub your teeth!
Interested in Teeth Whitening?
If you are looking for whiter teeth, contact Smiles By Design and Dr. Kristyn Barker! We are here to help you put forth your whitest, healthiest smile!