If you’re among the many Americans dissatisfied with their smile, then you know how embarrassing it can be. Maybe you’ve made a habit of covering your mouth when you laugh, turning away while you speak, or maybe this embarrassment has manifested in other subtle ways you haven’t noticed. If you’re among the many who are seeking a solution, then teeth whitening may be it.
Before making the decision to take your smile up a few shades, however, it’s important to make sure that the procedure is right for you..
Do You Drink Coffee, Red Wine, or Tea?
Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in the human body, standing up daily to a barrage of bacteria and capable of withstanding up to 6000 pounds per square inch of force. But, unlike what most people believe, our enamel is not perfectly even. It contains natural ridges and crevices. Staining agents found in coffee, tea, red wine, and tea, attach to these ridges and create what’s known as surface staining or extrinsic staining.
This type of staining is exactly what tooth whitening is designed for. By using a chemical agent that can break down staining agents, tooth whitening can bring your smile up several shades of brightness.
Do You Smoke?
Smoking stains occur in a very similar way to coffee, red wine, and alcohol. As you smoke, your mouth absorbs the nicotine and tar prevalent in cigarette smoke, and these substances get stuck in the tiny crevices of your teeth. If these substances aren’t removed over time, your teeth will begin to yellow.
Cigarette smoke is also considered extrinsic staining, so if you’re considering whitening because you’re a smoker, that makes you a good candidate.
What Does Whitening Not Clear Up?
Teeth whitening is designed to effectively remove surface staining caused by food or other staining agents put into the mouth. If your teeth are stained for other reasons, teeth whitening may not be effective.
For example, tooth discoloration caused by tooth trauma, enamel defects, or thin enamel, will not work.
If you’ve been considering tooth whitening for a long time, then it’s time to schedule an appointment. The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate is by speaking with your dentist about your tooth whitening goals. For those that aren’t confident they can fit tooth whitening into their schedule, there are take-home kits available. However, for the best results, patients are encouraged to pair both in-office treatment with take-home to ensure your bright smile lasts as long as possible.
If you’re looking for a smile solution in Scripps Ranch, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr.G at Oasis Dental Arts.