Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:

  • Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.

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Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Shreveport

Enhancing Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Your smile is a noticeable part of your appearance, and yellow dingy teeth can leave a negative impression on others. Most people have to work at having a bright sparkly smile, because teeth can discolor with age, diet, and lifestyle.

You may not realize that sipping a glass of red wine or coffee can be a detriment to your smile, as can sugary items that allow acids to attack your tooth enamel. Smoking is an even worse culprit. It not only leaves ugly spots on the surface of teeth, it also contributes to poor gum health.

If your teeth are already stained or if you’re having a hard time breaking the habits that discolor them, teeth whitening is a good way to improve the look of your smile. There are numerous methods to regain the natural glow of your teeth, ranging from over-the-counter techniques for home use to professional treatments in an office setting.

Whitening products available at your local drug or grocery store include things like toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwash, gels, and whitening strips. These are readily available and usually inexpensive options. Most of these products are simple to use and can be done in the convenience of your home when you choose. However, over-the-counter products are not as strong as professional methods. This means that results are not dramatic and usually take a long period of time of consistent use. Also, the effects may not last as long as you hope before it’s time to consider whitening again.

Professional teeth whitening is often performed by general and cosmetic dentists in an office environment. Bleaching is a popular professional method. The biggest advantage of in-office treatment is the fast results, with a visibly brighter smile evident in about an hour. Results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades. Professionals trained and experienced in these methods provide safe and effective treatment. Methods available professionally may cost a bit more than home options, but the dramatic results may be worth it.


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Teeth Whitening: The Bottom Line

A pretty smile has an immediate impact on those you meet. Without saying a word, it conveys that you take care of yourself and exudes a higher confidence level. A yellowed, dull, stained smile can send the opposite message. It can get in the way of presenting yourself in the best possible way.

Even when you practice good dental hygiene, your teeth are at risk of discoloration. Age, drinking and eating certain foods, and smoking each can negatively affect the shade of your teeth. You may be able to slow down the damage by avoiding such habits, but it’s nearly impossible to maintain the bright white smile of your youth. That’s when teeth whitening comes to the rescue.

There are a number of teeth whitening methods available today. Some of them involve buying over-the-counter products at your local drugstore for use at home, and others require a trip to see a professional. Choosing the most effective method for your teeth depends on the degree of discoloration or staining that you have, as well as your smile goals. The various methods have different levels of impact on the shade of your teeth.

Products for home use are inexpensive, readily available, and simple to use. Some popular options include whitening toothpastes, gels, and strips. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, and be patient because visible results can take some time of consistent use.

For quicker and more dramatic impacts to your smile, professional whitening is the way to go. Commercial methods employ more powerful ingredients than those available for home use. Also, special tools are often used such as ultraviolet lights to enhance the procedure. Professional whitening methods are able to improve much more severe stains and discolorations than home products. Whitening performed by a dental professional also usually lasts longer than what you might achieve at home.

The bottom line about teeth whitening is that it can be a fast and effective way to improve your look. Don’t go through life hiding your smile, but brighten your appearance with teeth whitening.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area

After Teeth Whitening: Do’s and Don’ts

If you have just completed professional teeth whitening treatment, you probably want to protect your investment and extend the life of your shiny, bright smile. To enhance your healthy new smile and keep it white and bright, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Do follow good oral hygiene practices by brushing and flossing regularly after every meal.
  • Don’t drink colored beverages such as red wine, coffee, cola or tea immediately after treatment, and continue to avoid them whenever possible to prevent staining.
  • Do drink beverages with a straw when you must drink dark-colored beverages to prevent the liquid from touching your teeth and causing stains.
  • Don’t eat pigment-intense foods for several weeks after whitening. Berries, dark chocolate, soy sauce and other foods with a dark color can leave residue that leads to staining.
  • Do use a gentle tooth whitening mouthwash after eating to rinse away food and debris that could cause staining and to keep your breath fresh.
  • Don’t wear lipstick or colored gloss for at least one week after whitening treatment, as your teeth are still sensitive immediately after treatment and lipstick can leave pigments that will stain your teeth.
  • Do use a whitening toothpaste to increase the results and aid in the longevity of your treatment.
  • Don’t forget to eat a healthy diet and drink water to keep your teeth strong and vibrant.

A whiter smile can brighten your face and take years off your looks. By following these easy recommendations, you can extend the life of your whitening treatment and enjoy the benefits of your bright, new smile.


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Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.

Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.

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