As a kid, do you remember looking at older people’s teeth and wondering why they seem more yellow than your own? If so, you weren’t the only one. From a child’s point of view, adults really have discolored, yellowish teeth – and it’s not their fault. The enamel that makes up the outer layer of our teeth tends to lose color with age. This can happen slowly or quickly depending on a few factors, like...
- Your dietary habits. If you enjoy wine, tobacco, tea and coffee, your teeth will tend to get grey sooner.
- Your dental habits. If you brush daily and floss when necessary, expect to have white teeth for longer.
- Your genes. Some people have teeth that are naturally prone to caries, decay, etc. Others seem to receive immaculate dental health the moment they’re born. You don’t choose your genes – but they certainly influence the appearance of your teeth.
Depending on the factors above, your teeth will lose color. It may happen sooner, it may happen later, but it’s all but guaranteed to happen eventually – which is the bad news. The great news is, you can get the naturally white, youthful, healthy-looking teeth we all want – and you don’t have to use a crown, veneer or composite resin to do it!
Here’s how it works.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Your teeth are made up of several layers. The outermost one is called the enamel – and it’s hard, white and extremely durable. As you age, the outer layer of this enamel yellows and loses color. The rest of it, however, remains white and tough. All you need to do is expose this white, “virgin” enamel – and you get your youthful smile back.
There are several ways to do this, but all of them involve applying a light solution that “shaves off” a microlayer of enamel. Specifically, the goal is to remove the discolored layer of old enamel, making way for what’s underneath. Whether this is what actually happens or not, unfortunately, is usually a matter of who’s performing the procedure. Here’s what we mean.
DIY Whitening vs. Professional Whitening
We said it above and we’ll say it again. All teeth whitening procedures work using the same mechanism of removing a microlayer of tooth enamel, and revealing the hard, white, glorious stuff underneath.
The problem is that DIY Whitening kits are somewhat unpredictable. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, you risk removing too little enamel – or so much that you expose the soft underlayer of your teeth, This is especially problematic because DIY solutions don’t have a standard, universal strength level, which makes each and every one of them different.
Professional procedures are, of course, pricier. They’re still a lot cheaper than having to get veneers because your teeth are beyond repair, though… So if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you get white, healthy-looking teeth, call us at (480) 830-5100 – and we’ll be glad to explain how we can help you.