Our teeth start out a brilliant white, but with age they naturally become discolored. And that’s the problem—when people see discolored teeth, they automatically assume we’re old, even if we’re not. Fortunately, discolored teeth can be restored to their youthful color with teeth whitening. And there are even options for getting whiter than that if you’ve never been happy with the color of your teeth.
If you want to learn what kind of results you can get from teeth whitening in Corpus Christi, please call (361) 851-8274 or email the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist.
Two Types of Discoloration
Teeth can be discolored for many reasons, but these can be broken down into two major categories: extrinsic staining and intrinsic discoloration. Extrinsic staining is the most common cause of discolored teeth. It’s normally caused by exposure to many different staining foods, beverages, and other substances, such as:
- Red wine
- Dark beer
Staining particles from these exposures penetrate into your tooth enamel and become lodged there. Not all staining foods are obvious, either. For example, potatoes and apples might seem okay because they’re light in color, but they contain polyphenol oxidase. This is the compound that makes them turn brown or black when exposed to oxygen, and it can do the same to your teeth, too.
Intrinsic staining occurs when teeth get darkened from within. Teeth whitening is not very effective against this type of stain–more about it later.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening uses chemicals to attack and remove the staining compounds from your teeth. The most common chemical used is peroxide, which can break down the organic staining molecules without damaging your teeth enamel.
Teeth whitening can be performed in our office or at home. In our office, we will first set up protective barriers to make sure the peroxide won’t get on your gums. Then we will paint the peroxide onto your teeth. We may do this multiple times, but in less than an hour, you will see a noticeable reduction in tooth stains.
For at-home teeth whitening, we will craft you a custom whitening tray that fits better than the trays or strips you can get in over-the-counter whitening solutions. We will also give you a tube of whitening compound that is stronger than the whiteners you get with over-the-counter kits. Just wear the whitening tray with the whitening compound in it every day and you will see a gradual improvement in the color of your teeth. It takes longer, but at-home whitening gives better results, and the results can be maintained permanently if you wear your whitening trays regularly.
If Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Work
Teeth whitening works great on extrinsic staining, but it isn’t so effective on stains that come from inside the tooth or that are due to the tooth enamel itself. For example, if a tooth has been discolored by trauma, whitening may not help. Or if you have defects in your tooth enamel, whitening won’t work. And whitening can’t make your teeth whiter than your natural enamel.
In these cases, you will likely have to cover your tooth enamel to get the results you want. This can be done with porcelain veneers or dental crowns.
If you want to learn what is the best teeth whitening in Corpus Christi for you, please call the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry at (361) 851-8274 today for an appointment.