Teeth whitening services at the professional level can give you a bright, healthy smile in less time than the over-the-counter treatments offer. Even though dentist's office whitening may come with a higher price tag than the at-home versions, they have plenty of advantages. Not only do they work faster than strips or paint-on whiteners, but they also get your teeth brighter than the ones you can buy. If you're considering a whitening procedure, understanding what causes dull or darkening teeth may help you to keep your bright smile longer. So what makes your teeth change colors?
Eating and Drinking
This is the most obvious color-changer. Dark beverages are completely common reasons why your teeth may go from pearly white to dull and dark. Tea, red wine, and coffee are the main culprits here. Not only are these dark drinks that easily stain, but they're also beverages that people tend drink often. That cup of coffee you have every morning is adding a daily dose of teeth staining to your routine. Other dark foods that stain, such as blueberries or cranberry juice, can also cause discoloration over the long term.
The white enamel on the outside of your teeth slowly wears away with age. As it wears, the yellowish dentin underneath begins to show through. Older people may also have more dentin, which decreases the size of the pulp and often reduces the translucent quality of teeth. This may result in a darker look. Keep in mind, these changes aren't the same as staining caused by outside sources such as food or drinks.
Some medicines may darken your teeth. Some people experience discoloration after taking antihistamines, antihypertensives or antipsychotics. Along with these, chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride mouthwashes may cause staining.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain your teeth. Bathing your teeth in chewing tobacco can cause a brownish color to form over time. Likewise, cigarette smoking may yellow or brown your teeth too.
You may have tried whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes at home before considering professional teeth whitening services. If extra-vigilant hygiene can brighten your teeth, the opposite is also true. Not removing plaque and staining foods from your teeth can cause darkening.
Getting the facts on what causes teeth to change colors helps you to make the most of professional teeth whitening services. After going through the whitening process, try to avoid (or at least limit) some of the causes. Cutting back on staining foods and drinks, quitting smoking and taking extra care of your dental hygiene can all help you to keep your white smile longer.