Get back to a whiter, brighter smile.

There are several ways to make your teeth brighter and whiter to improve your smile. But first, let’s look at how teeth become yellow, darker or stained over the years:

Tooth color cause and effect.

First there is age. As your teeth get older, the outer enamel, which is white, thins and wears away due to brushing and use. This allows more of the yellow layer underneath (called dentin) to show through. Food, drink and tobacco use stain teeth, with red wine, coffee and tea being major culprits. Nicotine, when it combines with oxygen, turns yellow and attaches to the surface of teeth. Tar is naturally dark and stains teeth. Finally, your teeth can change color if they suffer a trauma or you have taken certain medications.

Does whitening always work?

Teeth whitening works by cleaning the teeth with peroxides. The bleaching process breaks up stains in to smaller parts which make the color less concentrated so your teeth appear brighter. But tooth whitening doesn’t always work. For example, dark or gray teeth or teeth that have changed color don’t often whiten very well. Teeth that are yellow, typically respond very well to whitening. Before having any whitening procedure, it is important to talk to your dentist about how your teeth will respond.

The Process: Whitening procedures explained.

There are four options when it comes to whitening teeth. Three you can do at home and one can be done by your dentist in the office. If your teeth are already white and just need minor brightening, or you want to maintain the whiteness of your teeth as they are, use a toothpaste or mouthwashes with whiteners approved by the American Dental Association. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can only remove superficial stains and will not change the color of your teeth.
You can also whiten your teeth at home using a whitening gel. You apply the gel in trays made from molds of your mouth and place the trays on to your teeth for a specified time. Or, you can use whitening strips (purchased over the counter) that you attach to your teeth. Ask Dr. Rochefort what method would work best for you.

Learn more about tooth whitening

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