Extending the benefits of teeth whitening treatment in Greensboro
At Steven L. Hatcher, DDS, PA in Greensboro, we understand the importance of scheduling professional teeth whitening treatment. It represents more than an expenditure of your time and money. Teeth whitening is an investment in self-care. Dr. Hatcher and his team applaud your desire to smile with confidence, and we want to help you maintain brilliant results. Read on for steps you can take to keep your smile dazzling.
Some surprising causes of discoloration
Most people are aware of the common culprits of tarnished teeth – pigments in coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and dark berries get into microscopic pores, pits, and grooves in tooth enamel. However, other, more complex agents of stain might surprise you.
Indulging in a nightly Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc seems harmless. How could that cool, virtually clear liquid discolor teeth? White wine has high acid content that immediately begins to attack enamel. Simultaneously, tannins in the liquid act as a binding protein, encouraging chromogens to saturate tooth surfaces. White wine is most detrimental to your smile when you eat or drink something pigmented at the same time, for example ending your meal with a cup of tea.
Does brushing your teeth right after the wine help? No, it worsens the problem. Brushing right after drinking an acidic beverage weakens the surface structure of teeth, making it easier for stains to take hold.
Pale, acidic fruits such as white grapes, white cranberries, grapefruit, lemons, and yellow tomatoes can have a similar effect. In excess, these foods can erode enamel, allowing the yellowish dentin layer underneath to show through.
If you have had a serious health event, or are managing a severe or chronic illness, it probably feels unjust that your teeth now look discolored, too. Medications could be the cause. When a young child takes tetracycline or doxycycline (antibiotics), the drug becomes calcified in teeth that are still developing below the gumline.
Antiseptic mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride do a good job of reducing oral bacteria and plaque, so they may be prescribed to get gum disease under control. However, they can produce yellowish stains. If your dentist recommends this treatment, follow instructions carefully. It is generally best to use antiseptic mouth rinse right before going to bed for the night.
Other medications that may influence the color of your teeth include antihistamines (over the counter varieties, too), drugs prescribed for depression and mental illness, and high blood pressure prescriptions.
Did you know that nicotine in tobacco smoke is initially colorless? Yet it takes on a yellowish hue when it combines with oxygen. Tar, however, is a naturally dark reside of tobacco smoke. With each inhale, some of the tar and nicotine settles into pores of tooth enamel. Tobacco stains are especially obviously at the edges where teeth meet, since it is difficult to get these contacts really clean.
Get the most from teeth whitening treatment in Greensboro
The good news is that professional teeth whitening can remove most extrinsic and intrinsic stains, getting your smile noticeably brighter. Better news is that you can extend the results of your whitening treatment with these straightforward steps:
- Stop smoking – For your smile, your health, and the people who care about you.
- Purchase a reusable straw – Metal, glass, and heavy plastic drinking straws are inexpensive. Use one every day to help your favorite staining beverages bypass teeth.
- Rinse often – Swishing with plain water right after consuming snacks, meals, and beverages keeps pigments from settling in.
- Avoid whitening toothpaste – It sounds counterintuitive, but in the long term these products leave your teeth more prone to stains. They rely on abrasive ingredients that scratches tooth enamel.
- Practice good home hygiene – Brush after eating and floss (at least) before going to bed.
- Stick with checkups – There are a number of good reasons your dentist wants to see you at least twice a year. One of them is because stains left on teeth longer than six months are difficult to remove.
- Consider touch-ups – Most patients are extremely pleased with their whitening results. Some choose to schedule re-treatment at each hygiene visit, when whitening is most effective, to maintain a sparkling smile.