How to Get Whiter Teeth

Without knowing the cause of your discoloration, effective treatment cannot be determined.

Without knowing the cause of your discoloration, effective treatment cannot be determined.

A white smile is universally desired. Yet, the mass market products you find at your local pharmacy are not intended to treat all types of tooth discoloration. The fact is that tooth stains can originate from a variety of sources. The most common is food choices. Foods and beverages that contain dark pigments have a tendency to discolor the enamel layer of the teeth. These respond to conventional treatments.

However, some teeth may display signs of demineralization. This can appear as white discolorations on the teeth and even physical imperfections or dullness. Demineralization can be result from poor oral hygiene habits and even developmental disorders. This type of discoloration will not respond to whitening toothpastes but instead will need to be grinded off, depending on its severity. Demineralized teeth can also appear brown in color, which can even be more aesthetically displeasing. This post is not intended to cover all the various causes of discoloration, but it is meant to underscore the importance of seeking a professional opinion. Without this, your attempts to treat discoloration may be futile. Below you will find some of the most popular treatments for battling yellowed or otherwise discolored teeth.

In-Office Tooth Whitening

Professional tooth whitening is conducted using hydrogen peroxide. A gel containing this active ingredient is applied to your teeth and then activated using a specialized UV light. The peroxide penetrates your teeth and alters the stain molecules, effectively making them disappear. There are other variations of in-office whitening where a whitening agent is placed inside the tooth. This is used for teeth with traumatic injuries that have discolored. In-office whitening runs several hundred dollars and can last for a considerable amount of time with proper upkeep.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an expensive but permanent method to alter the shade of the teeth. They can also hide misalignment, gaps, worn down teeth, chips and other aesthetic issues. In order to place porcelain veneers, the cosmetic dentist has to trim the outer layer of the teeth known as the enamel. This provides clearance for the veneer and an ideal bonding surface. Modern-day veneers can be made on-site if the dentist’s office is so equipped, otherwise they take about two weeks. They have a long life-longevity of ten years or more, but require good upkeep to look their best. Plan to spend $1,200 or more for each tooth you have outfitted. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry provides a good overview of this procedure.

Snap-on Smile

Snap-on Smile is one of the newer treatments for tooth discoloration. This device is specially intended for those with limited financial means. It is made of acrylic resin and molded to fit over your existing teeth. The patient has the option of choosing the shape of the appliance as well as the color. A brief consultation appointment consists of a screening followed by impression taking. The impression is then sent to the lab to manufacture the appliance. Only certain dentists offer the Snap-on smile appliance, but at about $1,200 per dental arch is it is well worth the investment! You can see for a more detailed explanation.

Factors to Consider:

There are many factors to consider when deciding upon the course of treatment, Cost, time-frame, longevity of results, and maintenance all account for part of the decision. Speak with your practitioner to get a clear idea of what each treatment entails before making a premature decision.

Brush your Teeth to Avoid Gum Disease!!

Everytime I hear someone complain about having to floss, I tend to go on a rant. People, gum disease is a serious thing and negligence early on is what causes it. Take a few minutes each day to wiggle that string between your pearly whites and you wont have to worry about losing your teeth later down the line!!

Brush those teeth thoroughly to avoid gum disease!

Brush those teeth thoroughly to avoid gum disease!

Gum disease is an oral disorder that afflicts millions of people. It afflicts the tissues which are responsible for the structural integrity of the teeth. It’s development can be linked to both poor oral hygiene as well as genetic factors. Plaque, which is nothing more than a sticky, yellow-colored residue which is composed primarily of bacteria is what triggers the disorder. Brushing helps prevent excessive plaque build up as do regular dental visits. When the presence of plaque crosses a certain threshold, the bacteria begins to produce acids that eat away at the tooth structure, causing dental caries. Plaque build up around the gum line triggers irritation, causing receding and bleeding in the gum tissues and ultimately gum disease.

With all this in mind, are veneers a good fit for someone who has gum disease? The question is best answered on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who is actively receiving treatment for a less severe form of the disorder should be a good fit if all other conditions are favorable. In cases where the disorder has significantly progressed, veneers are not the best choice. The teeth are at risk of giving way at a moment’s notice and you could be out several thousand dollars if they do so.

There is a warning in order for gum disease patients that opt for these restorations. Please research your cosmetic dentist carefully before embarking on treatment! Rookie mistakes can cause tremendous suffering on your part. For instance, a common complaint (muttered by those who sought the services of an inexperienced provider) is that their veneers don’t transition directly into the gum-line. The cosmetic dentist has instead left a gap between the restorations and the gum tissues. Aside from the aesthetic eyesore that this creates, there is also the potential danger of plaque buildup. This oversight creates a hard-to-reach crevice where bacteria can accumulate very quickly, exacerbating any case of gum disease.

When visiting prospective dentists, ask for sample pictures from past cases and try to get a very clear picture of what they offer in terms of price and payment options. Insurance coverage is usually not an option with veneers, after all, and most can’t afford to pay the entire balance out of pocket. So, it’s well worth your time to scope out the available financing packages. This is not to say that cost should be the primary variable to be used in guiding your decision. It is not a very accurate indicator of the outcome to be expected. Even those who pay well above the average price for their smile makeover can face the risk of shoddy work.