Your smile is like your calling card to the world. If you feel self-conscious about your smile, you might hide it from people. Yellow or stained teeth are among the most common reasons to feel self-conscious or embarrassed about your smile.
The good news is that yellow or stained teeth are very fixable problems. When you get teeth whitening or even veneers, your teeth get a total makeover. Teeth whitening can’t fix everything, but it can solve many problems. Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about teeth whitening and transforming your smile.
How do teeth get stained?
Your teeth may get stained or yellow as a result of certain bad habits, including:
- Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
- Eating berries
- Taking medications, including certain antipsychotics or antihistamines
- Being exposed to tetracycline or doxycycline before the age of eight
Some people are also genetically more predisposed to have stained teeth than others. In addition, your teeth may be internally stained, making your dentin appear darker.
How to whiten your teeth
While there are over-the-counter teeth whitening products, we generally don’t recommend them. Professional teeth whitening is dramatically more effective, and you’ll be pleased by the immediate results.
Professional teeth whitening uses a bleaching solution made out of one or more peroxides. The peroxide is applied to the outside of your enamel, which breaks up the pigmentation that causes staining. This creates whiter, healthier-looking teeth.
At-home whitening treatments
Sometimes, you might wish to do your treatments at home. Although you have to wear the trays filled with professional-grade bleach for about an hour a day, you can do so at your leisure. Within just a couple of weeks, you’ll notice substantial results.
If you opt for in-office treatments, you still get the same benefits of the tooth whitening that you do at home. But there are a few advantages to getting your tooth whitening done in the dentist’s office.
For one thing, Dr. Sokoly’s staff places a protective coating over your gums before applying the bleach solution to prevent sensitivity. He also uses a stronger bleach solution to whiten your teeth.
In addition, he uses a special light to “cure” the bleaching agent while it’s in place on your teeth. This can produce more powerful results more quickly.
For tougher stains
If you have stains that don’t respond to tooth whitening, you don’t have to give up on your hope of a brighter smile. This is most often the case if the dentin inside your teeth is stained, which can’t be treated by traditional whitening methods.
If you have darker dentin and want whiter teeth, you may wish to consider the option of veneers. Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that cover the front of your teeth. The advantage of veneers is that you can go as bright as you want — and they cover a lot of other imperfections in your smile, too, like chipped or uneven teeth.
If you’re self-conscious about showing off your smile, you can do something about it by asking Dr. Sokoly about teeth whitening or veneers. Call his office today at 202-280-2428, or make an appointment online.