Your smile is one of the first things many people notice about you, so making sure it looks its best is important — not just for the impression you make on others, but for how you feel about yourself, too. Unfortunately, tooth stains are very common, partly because so many factors can contribute to discoloration.
The good news: Marvin Taylor, DDS, and the team at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center offer several options for eliminating tooth stains for patients at their Waterford, Michigan, practice. If looking and feeling your best is on your list of resolutions this year, here’s how teeth whitening can help.
Understanding why your teeth are stained
Teeth stains happen for lots of reasons, and knowing why your teeth look yellow or dingy can help ensure you get the right treatment to restore your beautiful smile.
Foods and drinks
Plenty of foods and drinks contain colors or pigments — some natural and some artificial. These pigments can penetrate your enamel and leave traces of pigment behind. Some of the most common culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, tomato products, turmeric and other spices, and deeply colored berries.
Tobacco contains pigments, too. These pigments usually leave behind brown or deep yellow stains, especially in the front teeth and between the teeth. Tobacco products also increase your risks of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
As we get older, years of wear-and-tear cause the outer enamel layer to thin, revealing more of the underlying layer of material called dentin. Dentin is naturally yellowish in color, and when your enamel wears down, more of that yellow dentin becomes visible.
Sometimes, a single tooth looks stained or discolored. Typically, this happens when the tooth is damaged inside, often from an infection or an impact to your mouth. This type of discoloration happens inside the tooth where whitening products might not be able to reach. In this case, a veneer or crown might be a better option to restore your smile.
Some medications — notably, some types of antibiotics — can cause your teeth to become discolored over time. This type of discoloration may respond to whitening or it might also be better treated with veneers.
Custom solutions for your needs
No matter what’s causing your teeth to look stained, dingy, or discolored, Dr. Taylor and his team have a solution.
ZOOM! uses a combination of professional strength hydrogen peroxide-based solution and light therapy to penetrate your enamel without harming it, lifting away years of stains in just one treatment. ZOOM whitens your teeth up to eight shades, so you can have treatment in the morning or afternoon and be ready to dazzle your friends in the evening.
EPIC™ teeth whitening
EPIC uses laser technology to lift away stains, offering results similar to ZOOM!. With EPIC, the whitening gel is left on your teeth for 20 minutes at a time, making it a good solution for anyone who has sensitive teeth or gums.
Porcelain veneers are durable, beautiful restorations that adhere to the front of a stained, dingy tooth, covering deep stains that don’t respond to whitening. Each veneer is custom-made and tinted to blend with your other teeth for dazzling results.
Lumineers are a type of dental veneer, but they’re super thin — about the thickness of a contact lens. These restorations have a translucent quality that reflects light like natural teeth. Their application is a bit simpler than the veneer application process, but because they’re so thin, they may not be a good choice for dark teeth.
Any of these cosmetic dentistry treatments can be performed on their own or alongside other treatments in a complete smile makeover. Every treatment is customized from start to finish, so you can feel completely confident in your results.
Make your smile a priority this year
When your schedule is busy, it’s easy to put your own needs last. This year, make your smile a priority and reap the benefits that come from having beautiful, healthy-looking teeth.
To learn how we can make your dingy smile a thing of the past, call 248-681-8100 or request an appointment online at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center today.