Wouldn't it be nice if your teeth could always stay as white as they were when they first erupted? Most people agree that this would be nice; however, it's almost impossible to keep your teeth this white. Luckily, dentists offer teeth-whitening services, which work well for most people. There are times, though, when professional whitening is not effective, and here are several things to understand about this.
How Stains Occur
Your habits play a huge role in the color of your teeth, and your age also affects how white your teeth are. As you age, your teeth naturally start losing their bright, white color, and this happens more frequently from bad habits.
For example, if you drink a lot of coffee or tea, your teeth will have a hard time staying white. Red wine is another beverage that discolors teeth. Consuming drinks like this will cause you to lose the whiteness of your teeth, especially if you drink these beverages every day.
Smoking is another habit that discolors teeth, and this happens from the exposure of tar to your teeth. Certain medications also have effects on the color of teeth. Tetracycline, for example, is a medication that can lead to deep tooth stains if a person took this medication when he or she was a child.
Effects of Teeth Whitening
There are several types of teeth-whitening services, but most only offer effective results for extrinsic stains, which are the opposite of intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are those that affect the outer layer of your teeth, and these typically occur from normal wear and tear on the teeth. Coffee, for example, causes extrinsic stains. If your teeth have extrinsic stains, teeth whitening will offer great results for whitening your teeth.
Intrinsic stains are those found inside your teeth, and these are much harder to eliminate. You can develop intrinsic stains from medications or from leaving extrinsic stains on your teeth too long. Most teeth-whitening services cannot whiten stains that are located on the inside of teeth.
Teeth whitening also has limits when it comes to artificial teeth. If you have any crowns, caps, fillings, or veneers in your mouth, these services will not whiten those particular teeth. Teeth-whitening services only work on real teeth.
A Good Solution if Whitening Won't Work
If you visit a dentist, he or she should be able to tell you how effective teeth whitening would be on your teeth, but the dentist will have to carefully examine your mouth before telling you. If you discover that regular services will not help whiten your teeth, the dentist may recommend using one of two good alternative options.
The first is using dental veneers to obtain a whiter smile. Dental veneers are dental products created to uniquely fit over existing teeth. For this to happen, your dentist will have to shave off some of the enamel from your teeth. Next, he or she will make impressions of your teeth and create dental veneers to fit over them. This option works for whitening teeth by creating veneers that are white and bright. You can choose any shade of white you would like if you choose this method.
The other method is similar, but it involves using composite resin to cover teeth to achieve a whiter appearance. This method is less expensive than veneers, but it does not typically last as long.
Having a white smile can boost your self-esteem and confidence, and it could make you smile a lot more. If you would like to learn more about the options that would help you achieve whiter teeth, contact a dental clinic like Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS today.