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Why Teeth Become Discolored: What you can do to Whiten your Smile

July 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — nawrockidmdteam @ 7:48 pm

Today we are going to discuss the various options that exist for whitening your teeth at Matthew Nawrocki General Dentistry and Cosmetics In Orange Park, FL. What would you like to improve most about your smile? A survey conducted by The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked this question and the most common response was “Whiter, brighter teeth”. If you are unhappy with the color or shade of your teeth, whitening may be an excellent option to boost your self-esteem. At Matthew Nawrocki General Dentistry and Prosthodontics, we are dedicated to patient education and our blog is a great resource for the most current topics in dentistry. If you have any questions or are interested in whitening procedures, feel free to contact us at any time electronically or call (904)602-8396.

What Causes Teeth to Change Color?

There are two ways that teeth can become discolored: intrinsically and extrinsically.

Intrinsic Staining

Intrinsic staining occurs when something interferes with the tooth development or when stains get incorporated into actual tooth structure. This can happen when certain drugs or chemicals are ingested or when a tooth has been traumatized during an injury. Intrinsic staining is also related to certain systemic diseases and has a genetic component.

Extrinsic Staining

Extrinsic staining occurs when dark substances stick to the outside surface of the teeth. Plaque can stick to the teeth and cause them to appear yellow in color. Bacteria can also accumulate in these areas and begin to produce darker substances. This is why it is important to have regular cleanings in the dental office as recommended by your dental professional. It is also common for teeth to naturally appear more yellow in color as people age.

Additionally, certain foods and drinks, especially coffee and tea, can lead to dark staining. Excessive consumption of acidic drinks, like sodas and juices, can cause the white outer layer of teeth to wear away over time. When the outer white layer gets thinner, the deeper layer causes teeth to appear yellow-ish. Tobacco products and cigarettes are also common culprits that cause teeth to appear darker.

What Can You do to Whiten your Teeth?

Take-home Custom Whitening Trays

Your dentist will create custom trays that match the shape of your teeth. This is the one of the differences between professional and over the counter whitening products. These trays allow a uniform amount of whitening gel to contact all surfaces of the teeth. The gel is placed in the trays and the trays are held on the teeth for a specific period of time. It is important the trays are worn for the required amount of time and that your dentist monitors the whitening process. Touch-ups with the whitening trays are usually required periodically.

One Visit Whitening with Opalescence Boost

Opalescence Boost is a very powerful whitening gel that is applied to the teeth in the dental office under the supervision of your dentist. This procedure usually takes less than one hour and offers immediate results. If you would like to learn more about Opalescence Boost, please see the video below.

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