If you wish that you had whiter teeth, you are not alone. Research shows that 80% of American adults want whiter teeth, making teeth whitening the most requested cosmetic service in the United States. As the demand for teeth whitening products continues to rise, dentists are offering a greater range of treatment options to whiten stained teeth. This is excellent news for the growing number of Americans who are looking for an effective way to whiten their stained teeth. Below is a look at the teeth whitening process and how it can help people with stained teeth restore their confidence.
The Growing Demand for Whiter Teeth
"People have been doing this for thousands of years. The Greeks had formulations and at the beginning of the Renaissance, Europeans were certainly putting compounds on their teeth in a conscious effort to whiten them."
- Dr. Scott Swank, Dentist and Curator for National Museum of Dentistry
People have been attempting to whiten stained teeth for centuries. This trend has skyrocketed in recent decades as the demand for cosmetic procedures has mushroomed. With nearly one-third of Americans indicating that they notice a person's teeth before any other feature, a growing number of people with stained teeth are turning to cosmetic dentists to explore the best treatment options.
What Causes Stained Teeth?
A variety of factors can cause your teeth to stain. Sometimes multiple factors combine to give your teeth a yellow or gray tint. In general, teeth stains can be categorized as extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is more common and affects the enamel of your teeth only. It is typically caused by consumption of certain foods or beverages and is easier to treat. Intrinsic staining is deeply embedded in the tooth and is more difficult to treat. Below is a look at some of the key factors that cause staining:
- Tobacco use: The American Dental Association (ADA) points to tobacco products as a leading cause of teeth staining.
- Certain foods and drinks: Red wine, coffee, tea, tomato sauce, and pies made with berries can stain your teeth.
- Age: As people age, their enamel becomes thinner, which can predispose teeth to stain.
- Illness: Traumatic illness or disease - especially during infancy or childhood - can cause discoloration in teeth.
- Medication: Certain antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapy can lead to staining.
- Poor oral hygiene: Failing to regularly brush or floss your teeth can cause teeth to lose their brilliance over time.
How Can Stained Teeth Become White Again?
The first and most important step in treating stained teeth is to contact a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. An experienced dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums to determine whether you are a good candidate for teeth whitening treatments. If your dentist confirms that your teeth are healthy and you would benefit from teeth whitening, he or she will work with you to determine which of the following whitening methods best meets your needs and budget:
- Laser whitening: Laser whitening is one of the most effective new treatments for stained teeth. It involves the application of a gel and light to facilitate whitening. Not all dentists offer this treatment, so it is important to ask your dentist if this option is available.
"The 'laser light' method is an in-office whitening procedure that produces whiter teeth in a matter of hours. A special gel is applied to your teeth and a light beam is placed over the gel. This method is safe and is popular among patients because results are produced quickly."
- - Dr. Brennan Bonati, Founder, Mountain Peak Dentistry
- Office-based application of bleaching trays: This method involves the professional administration of gel with a high concentration of bleach via dental trays. Your dentist may recommend that you apply additional gel from home moving forward.
- Home whitening: This method is usually less costly than office-based whitening treatments but does not produce an immediate effect. Your dentist will provide you with whitening gel and trays along with a recommended course of home application. A longer time commitment is required because lower strength gels are typically applied to your teeth.
"Home whitening is a popular choice for our patients. We will create a mold of your teeth and prepare a customized tray for you to use in the comfort of your own home. We will show you how to apply the whitening gel to your trays and provide you with a suggested home whitening schedule to achieve whiter teeth."
- Dr. Brennan Bonati, Founder, Mountain Peak Dentistry
Are Do-it-Yourself Whitening Treatments Effective?
If you have stained teeth, the chances are strong that you have already explored one of the many over-the-counter whitening toothpaste and strips available to consumers. With the growing demand for brighter teeth, the market for global teeth whitening products is projected to reach $7.4 billion by 2024. Manufacturers of many of these products target consumers searching for a cheap, do-it-yourself solution to teeth staining.
While it may be tempting to try over-the-counter bleaching products, it is important to note that there is a stark difference between the effectiveness of professional whitening treatments and over-the-counter treatments. Treatments administered by a dentist tend to produce much more compelling results because professional-strength gels and sophisticated equipment are used. Professional treatments also tend to be more effective because they are monitored by a dentist who can adjust the strength of your treatments accordingly.
What is the Key to Safely Treating Your Stained Teeth?
As outlined above, there are multiple effective treatments to whiten stained teeth. However, the single best way to treat your stained teeth is to seek the expertise of a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry. An experienced dentist will provide the guidance you need to transform your stained teeth through safe and effective whitening treatments.
Dr. Bonati and the team of professionals at Mountain Peak Dentistry have the tools and expertise to help you whiten your stained teeth. We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bonati and find out why we are Lakewood's most trusted provider of cosmetic dentistry. We look forward to helping you brighten your smile!
About Mountain Peak Dentistry:
Mountain Peak Dentistry is the dental practice of leading dentist, Dr. Brennan Bonati. We’re proud to be recognized as the most trusted, reliable and compassionate dental practice in Lakewood, CO and the surrounding areas, providing comprehensive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry.