Your teeth are exposed to plenty of chemicals and staining agents every time you eat or drink. This can lead to yellowing and discoloration that you’d rather not show off when you smile. If you’re avoiding photos and dreading social situations because of your yellow teeth, don’t worry. It’s easier than ever to whiten and brighten your smile with a visit to your dentist.
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton provides dental care of all kinds to her patients in and around Washington, DC. This includes at-home teeth whitening kits and professional, in-office whitening using the Phillips Zoom!® system. Don’t hide your teeth behind your lips; instead, consider investing in a brighter smile. You might be surprised by how much your life opens up when you’re making confident first-impressions.
Causes of yellowed teeth
Your teeth are naturally off-white, but exposure to certain foods, drinks, and chemicals can cause them to become stained over time. This is natural, and just a normal part of getting older. However, your teeth can yellow faster due to certain factors, including what you eat and drink over the course of your life.
Here are some of the most common contributing factors to tooth discoloration:
- Coffee, tea, soda, wine, and other discoloring food or drinks
- Cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Certain diseases and medications
- Aging and genetics
- Dental trauma
- Poor dental hygiene
It’s rather easy to stain the enamel of your teeth, but it’s harder to remove those stains. Luckily, dental technology has gotten very good at tooth whitening.
How whitening treatments work
Depending on what treatment you choose, you might be taking home a whitening kit or settling down in the dentist’s chair for a whitening session.
Take-home kits come with custom-fitted molds of your teeth. You fill these trays with the whitening solution and wear them overnight (or for several hours). During this time, the whitening solution does its work to remove stains. It can take a few treatments to get the results you want, but by the end your smile can be up to eight shades whiter.
Professional tooth whitening is a bit more intense, but your results will be more obvious. A rubber dental dam is used to protect your gums, and a bleaching solution is used to remove surface stains. A special light is also used to help bleach out the stains from the lower levels of your enamel.
Your dentist will take all the necessary measures to protect your teeth and gums during your treatment, and you shouldn’t experience anything more than minor discomfort. If you’re nervous about going to the dentist, Dr. Culotta-Norton can answer your questions and help alleviate any anxiety you have.
Take the next step in improving your smile, and reach out to us by calling 202-833-1111 or requesting an appointment online.