teeth whitening

What Do We Know About Whitening Our Smile

Who here is thinking of getting their teeth whitened? We see beautiful smiles on television every day or in the movies where actors or celebrities have stainless smiles. We too want to have that; we want to have a smile we are proud to show off to everyone especially during photo times.

Before we didn’t have stains in our teeth, so how did it get there? Discoloration happens over time, but we can prevent certain stains from penetrating the outer layer of our teeth from the foods and drinks we have. It happens, but find out what kind of stains we get and which are easier to get out and what options you have.  

Why Do Our Teeth Stain?

Our teeth can experience discoloration for many reasons, some which are caused by what we eat and others related to our age (internal changes). There are three main factors on why our teeth stain, some you may already know, others not so much.  

  • Extrinsic Stains – occurs when the outer layer of our tooth, the enamel, can be stained by outside substances such as the foods and drinks we have. For example, if you’re a regular coffee, tea, or wine drinker, you may already start building superficial statins on your teeth. Of course, drinks are not the only ones to leave stains, some of the foods we eat can stain them too such as berries (i.e., raspberry, blackberries, etc.), popsicles, or beets.
  • Intrinsic Stains – are stains that occur in the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin, that yellows or tints the tooth from its original color. There are a couple of reasons why internal stains happen such as excessive use of fluoride especially in children, use of tetracycline antibiotics at a younger age, or trauma to the tooth.
  • Age-related Stains – over time our tooth’s enamel becomes thin which shows the dentin. It is also the combination of the extrinsic and intrinsic stains that add to age-related stains. Our teeth are more likely to get stain easily as we age than before.

We don’t like it when our teeth get stains especially if it keeps us from showing off our smile. However, before you decide to whiten your teeth, it ensures your teeth are healthy.

It’s Not For Everyone

Having our teeth whitened is not for everyone, and I know it’s not what we want to hear when we want a stainless smile. But there are a couple of things we need to acknowledge first about whitening our teeth.

  1. Our teeth are not naturally white; they are a shade of yellow.
  2. Some teeth don’t respond to getting them whitened.
  3. Home remedies may not always work and can cause more damage to the teeth and gums.
  4. Teeth whitening doesn’t work on teeth which have root damage or are false (i.e., caps, implants, etc.).

Each of our teeth is different in their way. If teeth whitening worked for someone you know, it might not be suited for you which is why you want to be careful especially when using home remedies or at home whitening products.

Home remedies, they great for some things but not for others. You want to take precautions in using such methods. The same goes with at home products, sure they can whiten your teeth, but some products are not custom made to our teeth. When we use products or remedies that are abrasive, it can cause damage not only to our teeth but gums and other dental problems we may have that we are unaware of at the moment.

Consult with Your Dentist

Consult with your dentist to ensure your teeth are eligible to undergo such process. We want to urge you to take the steps you need for the safety of your teeth and that they remain healthy. To do so, you want to make a consultation appointment.

During your consultation appointment, your teeth will be thoroughly examined to evaluate the state of your teeth and gums and diagnosis any dental problems. If there are dental problems, you will need treatment before beginning the process of whitening your teeth. Your dentist will be able to let you know if you are eligible to receive treatment and discuss your options.

Options for Whitening Teeth

What are your options for getting the smile you want? There are a couple of options you can discuss with your dentist to see which one best suited for you.

  • Stain Removal Toothpaste – there is toothpaste can help eliminate the superficial stains our teeth have through a light, mild action of scrubbing it off with our brush. These are whitening toothpaste which has been ADA approved and have polishing agents.
  • In-Office Bleaching – it requires you to visit the dentist for this procedure which is also known as chairside bleaching. Yes, your teeth will be bleach and are usually done in one visit. Zoom is an everyday use of bleaching teeth in dental offices.
  • Over-the-Counter Bleaching – bleaching products you can purchase from any store which are usually toothpaste or whitening strips. These products will not have the same concentration of bleach agent as would a procedure at the dental office. As you shop for these products, you want to ensure they have the ADA seal which means it’s safe to use and is effective.   

Discuss with your dentist if your eligible to get your teeth whitened. After all, you want to have both a beautiful and healthy smile. Consult with your dentist today by filling out our appointment form or calling our offices at 801-747-8000.

For more information check out this article from the ADA (American Dental Association).


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