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.
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.
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: