Whitening procedures have effectively improved the smile of people with stained, dull and discolored teeth.
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures and over-the-counter products to reverse the effect of aging and years of abuse from food and tobacco on their smiles.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, external or "food stains". Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Prolonged use of coffee, tea, berries, red wine, soy sauce and other dark foods make your teeth prone to staining. Over lifetime, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from foods and other substances. The best results are obtained when whitening is done on this type of stained teeth.
Another type of staining is the one that is caused by traumatic injury, medications or fluorosis (the condition caused by consumption of excessive amount of fluoride) and begins inside the tooth; therefore, brushing and flossing do not help. These stains are very resistant to whitening but with patient's determination and guidance from a dentist one can significantly improve his or her teeth appearance with prolonged periods of using professionally distributed whitening products and in-office whitening sessions.
The most frustrating whitening experience is expected when we attempt to bleach brownish and grayish stains or pitted and badly discolored teeth. Whitening is also not effective on the restorations such as crowns, fillings and veneers.
Professional whitening is considered to be the most effective, fast and safest method. Nevertheless, as with all dental procedures, close monitoring and maintenance such as regular exams and cleanings, as well as "touch ups" using bleaching trays at home, are recommended for the long term satisfactory outcome.