For many people, a beautiful smile is the only way they feel satisfied with their physical appearance. However, it does not always come automatically, especially if their teeth are discolored. If your most significant concern is how your teeth look, there are solutions out there. Teeth whitening is the number one option for people with teeth appearance issues, a service available in most dental offices across the country today.

However, it must be professionally done for safe and excellent results. At Northridge Dentist, we take time to examine our patients to ensure that the solutions we recommend are what they need. Therefore, if you or your loved one struggles with tooth discoloration, you can get in touch with us for the best teeth whitening solution.

Causes of Dental Discoloration

Quite a good number of people experience dental problems like tooth discoloration, stains, and misaligned, worn out, chipped, or deformed teeth. Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of solutions to take advantage of or to enjoy an improved smile and appearance. A person with discolored teeth, for instance, finds it difficult to smile as much as they would like. Tooth discoloration affects not only their social life but also their self-esteem. However, teeth whitening solutions are here to give such people a second chance in life. Fortunately for you, most teeth whitening procedures are safe.

Before we can delve into these procedures, let us look first at what causes teeth discoloration. Here are some of the things that might be affecting the look and feel of your teeth:

Food and drinks — Some specific foods and drinks slowly affect your teeth. Continuous consumption of these foods causes significant discoloration of your teeth. Other foods and beverages eventually stain your teeth, leaving you feeling as if you are not beautiful enough. Examples of these foods and drinks are tea, coffee, particular wines, colas, and some types of vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables like apples and potatoes respectively are healthy, but they could stain your teeth.

Tobacco use — Some people chew tobacco while others smoke it. Either way, tobacco is a well-known cause for tooth discoloration. Like the human skin, our teeth have pores through which tar and nicotine in tobacco are absorbed during consumption. This absorption is what eventually leads to the yellowing of teeth and the brown discoloration we ultimately see. Even though nicotine is colorless in itself, it turns to yellow when it combines with oxygen. People who smoke have some of their teeth getting darker than the others, mainly because of the different ways they inhale.

Similarly, people who chew tobacco likely end up with discolored teeth. This is because the brown tobacco creates a dark-brown liquid when it mixes with saliva, which is hugely staining. Persistent use of nicotine leaves your teeth with a heavy stain, which should be professionally looked into if you want to regain your physical appearance and confidence.

Poor dental hygiene One of the things that will keep your teeth looking good and feel healthy is to take good care of them. Proper teeth case is accomplished through a daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing them. The products you use on your teeth also determine the results you experience in the long run. An antiseptic mouthwash is recommended for rinsing your mouth as it helps remove plaque and all substances that could stain your teeth, for example, tobacco and coffee. If you don’t observe proper dental hygiene, you might end up with discolored teeth and an even more significant dental issue.

Diseases Several dental issues mainly affect the enamel, which is the hard surface of human teeth. Others affect the dentin, which is the material beneath the enamel. These diseases are likely to result in dental discoloration if they are not treated in time. Other times, treatments for specific health issues result in discolored teeth, for instance, chemotherapy or head and neck radiation. Similarly, certain infections of an expectant mother could cause tooth discoloration in their infant. Other infections could affect the enamel development of your child.

Medications — Again, certain medicines could affect the appearance of your teeth. The most popular ones are doxycycline and tetracycline antibiotics. If children whose teeth are in their development stage take these antibiotics, they could develop tooth discoloration. Some mouth rinses, especially those that contain cetyl pyridinium and chlorhexidine, could cause staining on teeth. Examples of other medications include antihistamines such as Benadryl, drugs for high blood pressure, and antipsychotic drugs.

The Environment — There are environmental factors that could cause teeth discoloration. People living in places with excessive fluoride, for instance, are likely to suffer tooth discoloration. In those places, you will naturally find high levels of fluoride in water, which, after consumption, could cause the discoloration. You could suffer the same fate after excessive use of dental rinses, fluoride applications, fluoride supplements, and toothpaste.

Genetics and Age — Research shows that as a person ages, the outer layer of the enamel on their teeth begins to wear out, leaving bare the natural color of dentin, which is usually yellow. It is, therefore, not unusual to find older people with yellowing teeth. Also, genes affect teeth where, unlike other people, you could have more natural bright or thick enamel.

Trauma — If a child whose teeth are still developing falls, they could suffer an injury that may disrupt the formation of their enamel. The disruption could cause teeth discoloration later in life.

The many causes of tooth discoloration show that people of all ages and gender are affected. The most important thing is to understand the cause of your teeth discoloration, find a teeth whitening solution, and take good care of your teeth to prevent the same thing from happening again. If you are already affected, the answer lies in finding the best cosmetic dental services you can find.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Stained and discolored teeth make it hard for you to smile and socialize. That is why there are teeth whitening solutions that could help improve your appearance and boost your self-esteem. Once your teeth have discolored, you realize that brushing alone may not remove the stains and restore your original teeth whiteness.

For that reason, you should seek professional whitening services from a dentist you can trust. He/she will restore the natural look of your teeth and get rid of the plaque and all the germs that could be hidden between the teeth. It will help you reduce the number of serious dental issues that could have affected your general wellbeing.

Teeth whitening is also an inexpensive and effective way to improve your smile. Generally, cosmetic dentistry is expensive, and not many people can afford it. However, such services as teeth whitening are inexpensive. They give everyone an equal chance of enjoying a better smile after a long time of suffering. In addition, teeth whitening is the most popular type of cosmetic dentistry in most parts of the country. It allows those who have been affected to enjoy instant results with no further delay. 

Another benefit of teeth whitening is that it boosts your self-confidence. Self-confidence involves believing in yourself, feeling comfortable in your true-self, and knowing your self-worth. Someone who has confidence is attractive, successful, and can socialize more with others. Self-confidence makes the person generally happy. If Your potential is limited by how low you feel about yourself, you could consider teeth whitening services to improve your confidence.

Teeth whitening also helps prevent bacterial growth that could result in tooth decay and gum diseases. Dangerous bacteria can easily find a place to hide under stained teeth. Before you know it, you are already battling other dental-related issues such as decayed teeth and periodontal diseases. A sure way of preventing such dental problems is to keep your teeth clean and well-maintained. For a person whose teeth are already discolored, it should begin with a teeth-whitening solution. Then you can commence your journey for better oral health and better general wellbeing.

Lastly, teeth whitening could be the best solution for that person who has been battling low self-esteem issues because of stained or discolored teeth. Dental problems can affect the way a person feels about themselves. The good thing is that you can regain your self-worth in no time once you decide to have your problems taken care of by professionals.

If therefore, you seek a quick and easy way to change the way you feel and look, but your budget is limited, teeth whitening could be the best solution. The benefits of this are that your physical appearance improves, and you enjoy excellent health benefits along the way. Note that this is an instant solution for anyone suffering the shame of stained or discolored teeth. Therefore, you must think of a long-term solution if you do not want to experience it again. 

The good thing in working with a professional dentist is that you not only get your teeth whitened but also benefit from a wide range of other dental services and advice that could keep you enjoying the results for the rest of your life. For instance, you get informed about the benefits of brushing and flossing your teeth daily and regular visits to a dentist for routine checks.

Treatment Options Available for Teeth Whitening

As mentioned above, teeth whitening is the most uncomplicated cosmetic dentistry process available today. The process mainly involves the use of whitening products like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These solutions break down the stains on the patient's teeth into minor pieces, which in the end, reduces blemish visibility, bringing out the best color of your teeth.

Unfortunately, teeth whitening does not work for all types of teeth. That is why it is crucial to speak to your dentist for proper advice before making your final decision. Also, remember that some types of teeth discoloration may not be corrected easily with teeth whitening. For example, teeth whitening solutions may not work on crowns, caps, fillings, and veneers. Some types of teeth discoloration, especially those caused by medicines, may be difficult to correct.

The good thing is that there are several options when it comes to teeth whitening, and a person is free to choose the one that they feel will work best for their teeth. The four primary options available for people who want to regain their white smile are:

Stain-Removing Toothpaste

Most toothpaste brands in the market today are designed to help remove surface stains on teeth. All you need is a mild abrasive to scrub off the stain from the affected teeth. However, toothpaste is made especially for teeth whitening, the best of which are approved by ADA. From the toothpaste package, you should be able to see a seal of approval for stain removal. These teeth whitening toothpaste have added polishing elements, unlike the original ones. In that case, they can safely be used for effective stain removal on the teeth.

The benefits of finding an ADA-approved teeth whitening product is that it is safe to use and will not cause any side-effects that could affect your teeth or general wellbeing. They are also different from bleaches, which might change the shade of your teeth. Again, bleaches only remove the stains on the teeth’s surface and not rectify the underlying issue.

Home Bleaching From the Dentist

Alternatively, your dentist could help you whiten your discolored teeth at home using custom-made bleach specially designed for your needs. The treatment will be specially designed for you, and then your dentist can give you instructions on how you will use the bleach at home to achieve a whiter smile. You will also be guided on the portions to use as well as the length of time you should use the bleach.

Many people prefer this form of treatment as they feel comfortable whitening their teeth at home and at a much slower pace than doing it in the dentist's office. The good thing is that they still get the guidance of a professional dentist. However, you may not see the results until after a few days or weeks, depending on the discoloration extent.

Bleaching Products Purchased Over The Counter

There are bleaching products that you can buy over the counter to aid with teeth whitening. Today, there are so many such products available in local grocery stores and also in online stores. Some come in the form of strips while others in tubes of  toothpaste. However, their concentration of bleaching agents will be much lower than what a professional dentist would use in his/her office. In that case, they may not work as well as what you can get from a dental office.

Again, there is a need to be careful when buying a teeth-whitening product over-the-counter. You may benefit significantly from the guidance of your dentist. Also, opt for products that are ADA-approved. These have already been tested and proven to be safe and effective.

In-Office Professional Dental Bleaching

It is the kind of teeth whitening done in a dental office, also called chairside bleaching. The procedure is simple, effective, and only requires one visit to the dentist's office. During the process, your dentist will ensure that your gums are well-protected from the bleaching agent’s damage. It can be done by use of a rubber shield or a protective gel that can be applied to your gums. After that, the bleaching product is then applied to the affected teeth.

The good thing about in-house teeth whitening is that the patient gets to enjoy optimum results in a much shorter period. If therefore, you have been struggling for a very long time with stained or discolored teeth, it is just a matter of a few minutes before you see significant improvement in the appearance of your teeth. Again, the procedure is done under the strict supervision of a professional. It means that nothing can go wrong in the process, and so, minimal side effects can be expected.

In-house professional dental bleaching is widespread and the most popular teeth whitening procedure, especially for people who have been disappointed by over-the-counter bleaching products. It is also an ideal procedure for people who do not want to go through the hassle of whitening their teeth at home.

The only disadvantage you get with this treatment option is that it could be more expensive than the other options listed above. You may have to pay more to have the doctor perform the procedure in his/her office, and the cost is sometimes not covered by insurance. Again, just like other options above, you may not get the correct shade after the first visit to the dentist., it means that you may have to go back once or a few more times to get it right.

What to Expect During an In-House Teeth Whitening Procedure

Of all the teeth whitening treatment options available today, many people choose the in-house treatment because it is less complicated, and not much is required of the patient during and after the procedure. However, this has to be done by a well-trained and experienced dentist. Teeth whitening is not something that anyone can safely and effectively do. It is a particular skill that requires great caution and professionalism that only a competent dentist can perform. 

First of all, caution is required to avoid injuring the gum area. Again, it involves expensive equipment that should be handled with great care during the preparation and finishing of the procedure. With the right dentist by your side, you will only need between 60 and 90 minutes to complete the treatment.

Here are the main steps your dentist will go through during the treatment:

Your dentist will begin by noting the current color of your teeth. It will help him take note of the difference once the treatment commences. 

He/she will then polish your teeth. It could be done using pumice or a grainy material that will help remove any plaque on the teeth surface.

Your dentist will then isolate your mouth from your teeth to allow them to dry. It will also ensure that no other part of your mouth will come into contact with the bleaching solution, including your tongue, cheeks, and lips. Also, a barrier could be placed along your gum line to protect your gums from exposure to the whitening solution.

Once all the preparations are done, your dentist will coat the teeth with the bleaching solution. Note that this will only be done on the front surface. Some whitening solutions will require a laser or light to activate them. Once the teeth are well coated, your dentist will allow the coat to rest between 30 and 60 minutes. Some solutions might need to be reapplied one or more times to work better.

Your dentist will be aiming at the optimum shade that can be reached with the solution. When the tone is right, he/she will rinse off your teeth. To avoid tooth sensitivity experienced by some patients, your dentist would apply some fluoride on the whitened teeth.

Find Teeth Whitening Services Near Me

Stained or discolored teeth are a deal-breaker for many people. The discoloration could deny you a chance to live and enjoy your life fully. However, there are teeth whitening solutions you can benefit from today. Teeth whitening will boost your self-esteem and self-confidence and help prevent further damage to your teeth. If you are in Northridge and require teeth whitening solutions, call us at 818-875-0216. At Northridge Dentist, we have highly skilled and experienced dentists that will advise you on the available options.