You teeth can turn yellow for many reasons. You may drink too much coffee or smoke cigarettes. Certain types of foods or beverages can cause teeth to yellow. For some people, even aging can cause their teeth to change from their normal white coloring. In addition to maintaining your normal oral hygiene routine, there are some dental procedures which can help.
Choose a cosmetic dentist or general dentist who will explain the positive and negatives associated with the various forms of tooth whitening. Many of the whitening products you find on store shelves use a bleaching agent such as carbamide peroxide or urea hydrogen peroxide to lighten your teeth. For smokers there is some concern that carbamide peroxide may further harm tissue already damaged by smoking. People with teeth that have caps may find that the capped teeth remain stained because of their harder porcelain material while the somewhat softer natural teeth are lightened.
Whitening toothpastes usually contains less of the peroxide ingredient but this weakened form may not cause much noticeable change, especially given the short amount of time the product is on your teeth while you are brushing. Some bleaching toothpastes contain a larger amount of the ingredient but must be left on the teeth longer. Commercial bleaching strips have been shown to work for teeth that are moderately stained, but bleaching is not recommended if you are expecting a baby.
Your dentist has other teeth whitening options available. If your teeth are mildly stained your dentist may prescribe a bleaching kit and monitor your progress. A tray that is fitted to the dimensions of your mouth is filled with a bleaching gel and worn while you sleep. The dentist monitors your progress to be sure the gel is not harming your soft tissue or causing damage to existing dental work.
If your teeth are moderately to heavily stained power bleaching is another possible option. Lasers can be used to accelerate the bleaching and directly target the treatment to heavily stained areas. If your teeth don't respond to these whitening options, your dentist may recommend a microabrasion procedure to remove deep stains. Bonding and veneers may be utilized to cover the stained area.
ChooseYourDentist.com is your go-to source for dental information and dental education. If you are interested in teeth whitening, use our dental profiles to help find a cosmetic dentist who can help because ChooseYourDentist.com is "where patients and dentists meet."