Are yellowed teeth wrecking your smile? Here are some options

  • Jun 20 2016

Soda. Coffee. Cigarettes. Red wine. In a city that never sleeps, some New Yorkers depend on these items to function. But it’s no secret that, in excess, these vices are linked to health issues. For many, they also have a direct impact on tooth health, including enamel coloring. Over time, exposure to those liquids can leave teeth a dull shade of yellow or brown, which, while not inherently dangerous, can be embarrassing.

While the items above are common coloring culprits, a recent article in The Washington Post revealed some additional surprising sources, including summer favorites like lemonade, white wine and green juices and smoothies. Apparently, anything that can stain your clothing can stain your teeth. And, as the city heats up, you might want to consider how long you linger when cooling off in the water. It turns out that the chemicals used to treat pool water can also cause tooth discoloration.
Regardless of how your teeth became stained, there are options to get them back to a natural state, and we love working with patients to develop a plan that leads to a smile they can feel proud of.
For many of our patients, teeth whitening is a well-known and trusted solution to discoloration. Our clinic features two options for whitening—one done in the office, and one done at home at your own convenience. Laser bleaching is our in-office approach and it provides dramatic results in a little over an hour. The revolutionary technology leaves teeth six to ten shades whiter in just one session.

If DIY is more your style, we also offer take-home bleaching kits. Since there’s no appointment needed for the process, you can whiten on your own time — while reading, catching up on emails, working around the house, or simply relaxing in front of the television. The kits are also a helpful option for maintenance following a laser treatment.
While both options are helpful, it is important to note that neither are permanent solutions. If habits such as smoking and consumption of tooth-staining culprits continue, at-home whitening will begin to fade in as little as a year. Even though laser bleaching typically lasts longer, it also fades with time.

Veneers, on the other hand, are a permanent solution for stained teeth. What is a veneer? Simply, it is a thin shell of porcelain designed to cover the front surface of a tooth and match its natural (white) hue. There are several benefits to choosing veneers. For starters, they are stain resistant and can last up to 10 years before needing replacement. Additionally, they don’t damage gum tissue, your natural teeth remain intact, and they can also correct the appearance of crooked or otherwise irregularly shaped teeth. In fact, we like to say that veneers are braces and bleaching in one. The process of getting veneers is usually complete after three visits to the dentist.
Of course, the best way to keep teeth free from discoloration in the first place is preventative care. Make time for regular exams and cleanings, and (as much as possible) avoid the common culprits mentioned above. If you’re looking to lighten up your smile, call or come in to discuss your options in depth.

Categories: Cosmetic Dentistry