Did you know that over 30% of the population is concerned about the way their teeth look? Many of these people even hide their teeth when they smile – especially in pictures. Can you relate? Whether it’s from discoloration, crooked teeth, or gaps between your teeth – you may feel ashamed or embarrassed of your smile. Fortunately, cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile through teeth whitening procedures, tooth bonding, veneers, and other treatments. While each procedure focuses on improving the esthetic appeal of your smile, they all work in different ways. For example, if you’re dealing with discoloration and staining, you may be interested in teeth whitening.
Understanding Tooth Discoloration
There are two types of staining – extrinsic and intrinsic. Just as they sound, extrinsic stains refer to discoloration on the surface of your teeth, while intrinsic stains refer to discoloration in the inner structure.
Extrinsic stains are often caused by foods and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and soda. On the other hand, intrinsic stains are caused from factors like physical trauma, exposure to certain medications, and sometimes they even form during the tooth’s development.
Teeth Whitening Options
There are several methods to whiten your teeth; an in-office treatment from your dentist, custom whitening trays that you can use at home, and whitening kits that you can buy from your local pharmacy or grocery store.
First and foremost, over-the-counter whitening kits provide minimal results and may actually do more harm to your teeth than good. However, when you consult with your dentist about your discoloration – they’ll be able to recommend which procedure would work better for you or if you need something more extensive, like deep bleaching. Plus, thanks to modern technology, your dentist can even show you what your smile will look like after the treatment!