Many things in life get better with age—wine, senses of humor, our golf game—but unfortunately, our teeth do not. As we get older, they become prone to shifting and discoloration, leaving previously straight smiles looking decidedly crooked and yellower than you last remember. Although yellowing and staining teeth are common side-effects of aging, we don’t have to accept them as inevitable! Here at Busk Family Dental, we offer laser whitening to brighten your teeth, as well as suggestions for how you can prevent staining at home. Let’s take a look at what causes discolored teeth and what you can do about it!
What causes yellowing or staining of the teeth?
As we get older, the layer of white enamel on our teeth begins to thin. This allows the naturally yellow material beneath it, called dentin, to show through more clearly. The thinner your enamel, the more dentin shows through, giving your teeth a yellow tint. Enamel is also naturally porous, and as we age, the microscopic holes within it get larger, revealing even more dentin and leaving the teeth even more vulnerable to staining.
Genetics can also play a role in how white our teeth look. Some people are born with tooth enamel that is brighter or thicker than others, while others have a thinner layer of enamel or naturally darker teeth. Aside from age, hereditary factors, and certain kinds of medication, our lifestyle choices can play a role in yellowing and staining our teeth. For example, smoking is one of the most common contributors to tooth staining. Regularly drinking coffee, black tea, wine, and soda can also cause teeth to become discolored over time.
How can I lessen the effects of yellowing and staining from home?
There are some very simple measures you can take to combat staining and enhance the shine of your smile! The most obvious of these is maintaining good dental hygiene. That means brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time and flossing every night before bed. This will help remove plaque build-up that might attract stains or make them more noticeable.
How you consume foods and drinks that contribute to staining can also make a difference. Use a straw when drinking cold tea or soda, and avoid long, slow sips of coffee and other hot, acidic beverages to minimize the contact they make with your teeth. Another easy way to prevent stains is to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming any acidic or highly-pigmented foods, like soy sauce, blueberries, or beets.
Regular dental visits are an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, clean, and looking as good as they feel! Professional cleanings with our team will not only get rid of stains that regular brushing and flossing can’t touch, but also help us look for and treat dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, and more.
Laser whitening options for a sensational smile
Busk Family Dental is proud to offer laser whitening treatments to patients in Cashmere, Wenatchee, and the surrounding communities. This method is quick, effective, and produces beautiful results that last! While every dentist will have their own procedure for performing laser whitening treatment, you can expect the process to be similar to the one we’ve outlined below.
Step 1—After cleaning your teeth, we’ll use an instrument to hold your mouth open. Not only is using an instrument more comfortable than asking you to hold your mouth open for an extended period, but it also keeps saliva from touching your teeth. Saliva can interact with the whitening solution and prevent it from working effectively, so this separation is an important step!
Step 2—We will then place a protective barrier, usually a hardening oral gel, over your gums. We do this because the whitening solution can irritate sensitive gum tissues, and we want to ensure that treatment is as comfortable as possible.
Step 3—With the mouthpiece and gum barrier in place, our dentists can begin applying the whitening solution to the front of your teeth using an oral syringe or similar device. Once it has been evenly applied, he will use a pen-like laser to activate the solution. You’ll feel it begin to foam as it heats up.
Step 4—After letting the solution sit for a couple of minutes, we’ll clean it off using a small dental vacuum. And that’s all there is to it!
This treatment process can be repeated up to 3 separate times. You’ll be provided with a list of post-treatment steps before you leave. Depending on the severity of your discoloration, we may schedule you for another teeth whitening appointment at this time.
It’s important to remember that the success of any teeth whitening procedure will be affected by the genetic makeup of your teeth. For the best results, you only want to whiten teeth back to their natural shade. Remember, that shade won’t always be bright white! Most people will find their natural teeth are an off-white color, and that’s entirely normal. Be realistic about your expectations, and be sure to let one of our dentists know if you have any questions or concerns.
Stop staining in its tracks with laser whitening from Busk Family Dental
If yellow or stained teeth are holding you back from your happiest smile, we invite you to explore all the benefits professional tooth whitening has to offer! Our laser whitening procedure will give you safer, better, and longer-lasting results than at-home treatments. Whether your smile is discolored from genetics, aging, or any other cause, we’re here to help restore your teeth to their natural brilliance! Get in touch today to schedule a consultation with our expert team.