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Teeth Whitening – Why it is an Important Part of Dental Care

Dental hygiene or dental care encompasses many facets and teeth whitening is an important part of the overall dental health. Many people can maintain their glowing smile without any special aids like teeth whitening. But, given modern lifestyle, many of our habits can significant damage to our teeth and the overall dental system. Smoking for instance, is a major cause of coloured teeth and over a period of time, the nicotine stain accumulates around all the tooth making your smile none too attractive. Excessive consumption of coffee, tea, red wine and similar liquids also deliver the same results. Therefore, by following good dental care practices, you are not just taking care of your teeth, but making a long term investment for your overall health itself.

Is there a way to get the glowing white teeth back?

Yes, there are multiple ways of getting your glowing white teeth back. Some of these measures are simple DIY procedures and can produce reasonable results over a period of time. But, aren’t there situations when you cannot wait indefinitely for all the accumulated stain to vanish and get back the all white teeth? This is when you need professional teeth whitening help so that the colour of your teeth does not embarrass you on an important date or a job interview. Therefore, it is important that you equip yourself with all the information you need on a wide range of tooth health products before embarking on tooth whitening.

Active Smile is an Australian business providing a wide array of tooth health products enjoying huge popularity with their teeth whitening kits.

Advantages of professional teeth whitening

When you start shopping for tooth whitening products, you are bound to find an array of them, particularly in the form of DIY kits. Effectiveness of the DIY kits will depend on individual focus and needs. However, when you get teeth whitening done professionally, your dentist can explain the right kind of products going into the procedure and also take into consideration your individual circumstances and tune products that are best suited for you.

What causes teeth colour to change

There are many factors that contribute to the change in tooth colour. Some of the major factors are explained below:-

What you eat and drink

What you eat and drink has a significant impact on your teeth and items like tea, coffee and red wine constitute some of the major culprits with regard to staining. What these products have in common is chromogens or strong colour pigments which cling to the white external part of the tooth.

Tobacco

Stubborn stains come from two chemicals contained in tobacco and these are nicotine and tar. While tar is dark in its natural state, nicotine remains colourless till it mixes with oxygen. Once oxygen gets added to nicotine it turns yellowish and is capable of staining the surface it meets.

Age

Beneath the white, hard external shell of the teeth (enamel) exists a softer area known as dentin. With passage of time, the external layer of enamel becomes thinner due to brushing and most of the dentin with its yellowish colour starts showing through.

Trauma

Trauma can change the colour of your tooth, particularly if you received a hit in your mouth since the tooth reacts to injuries by adding extra dentin that is a dark layer showing beneath the enamel.

Medications

Dark tooth can also result from side effect of some types of antihistamines, high blood pressure medicines, antipsychotics etc. Younger kids exposed to tetracycline/doxycycline or similar antibiotics around the time their teeth are in the formative state (including in the womb as well as during the early days of the baby) can lead to discoloured tooth when the child grows up into an adult. Radiation around the neck and head as well as chemotherapy can also cause darkening of the teeth.

When teeth whitening may not work

Unfortunately, teeth whitening products cannot correct every type of discoloration. For instance, yellow teeth generally bleach better while the treatment may not be as effective with brown teeth. Further, if you have gray tones on your tooth, it may fail to bleach. Similarly, if you have dental enhancement products like crowns, veneers, fillings or caps, whitening is not a solution for you. Discoloration of tooth caused by accidents or medication may also not respond well to teeth whitening procedures.

What side effects should you expect from teeth whitening?

Tooth sensitivity is a possible side effect from teeth whitening. This can happen when peroxide that is part of the whitener pass through the tooth enamel and get to the dentin’s soft layer irritating the tooth nerves. However, this sensitivity is generally temporary. If you experience sensitivity, you can wait for a few weeks before continuing with the treatment and then give it another try. If the problem persists, you should consult your dentist for a solution.

You should also take care not to overuse the whiteners since it can damage the gums or tooth enamel. Talking to your dentist and following the directions given is the best way to avoid this problem.

Alternatives to teeth whitening

In certain situations like intrinsic staining and sensitive teeth, teeth whitening may not be the best answer. But, there are enough alternatives and you can choose one that suits your condition best to get back your glowing smile. But the right option is best discussed with your dentist.

Porcelain veneers

These are made of dental ceramic and are incredibly life like and can effectively conceal the stains instead of lightening it. Veneers can also be your best solution for a wide range of other dental imperfections including cracks, gaps, worn edges, chips etc. impacting your smile.

Dental bonding

Similar to veneers, dental bonding is another option that can transform teeth that is stained intrinsically. Your dentist is also capable of matching the colour of bonding perfectly with the natural colour of your tooth allowing it to seamlessly blend into your smile.

Fillings

Intrinsic and dark staining of the teeth often results from certain medications of trauma. Tooth coloured fillings come in handy in this case with the additional benefit that they are also better for your overall health and oral health.

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