Bright white teeth are esthetically pleasing and can be a representation of good oral health. However, it is possible for your teeth to become stained over time even if you consistently follow a high-quality oral care routine. The food and drink you consume on a daily basis can create a layer of surface stains. There are some things – such as injury and medication – that can lead to teeth discoloration that exists below the surface. There are options for getting whiter teeth whether the issue is surface stains or deep discoloration. The effectiveness of the whitening options can vary significantly.
There are a number of over-the-counter teeth whitening options. You can find whitening toothpastes and mouth washes to help with your whitening efforts on a daily basis. Other over-the-counter options include whitening strips, trays, and gels. Each one of these teeth whitening options can provide some results. If you are consistent with your usage of these products, over time you may see slight results. Daily products like whitening toothpaste will provide more gradual results than options like whitening strips. If you have minimal surface staining on your teeth, these over-the-counter options may be able to help you reach your goals. For more severe discoloration, however, you will likely need some professional help.
In-office teeth whitening can provide you with quick and noticeable results. You can whiten your teeth up to eight shades in as little as 45 minutes with the help of your dentist. Professional whitening is a way to see dramatic results without spending a lot of time on your whitening efforts. If the stains on your teeth are on the surface, professional whitening is a great option. Stains that are below the surface cannot be removed with this process because it only addresses surface-level stains.
Porcelain veneers and crowns
Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are two cosmetic procedures that can provide you with a whiter smile. These two options are typically used to deal with stains that are deeper than the surface. Medication, injury, and your genetics can all lead to teeth that look permanently stained. In this situation, surface whitening solutions are completely ineffective. Permanent discoloration requires a different solution than surface stains. Porcelain veneers and crowns are an option if you have stains that do not respond to surface whitening. Veneers and crowns are made with porcelain and are designed to cover either the surface or entire tooth. The vast majority of deep stains can be successfully covered with the help of veneers or crowns.
The effectiveness of the various teeth whitening options are dependent upon the level of whitening you need. Over-the-counter options can work if you do not have a lot of stains on your teeth. Many people, however, have several layers of surface stains that require more than a whitening toothpaste. If you need more than the over-the-counter solutions have to offer, in-office teeth whitening is often an effective option. For the worst types of stains, a cosmetic procedure such as porcelain veneers or crowns may be necessary. Your dentist can help you determine if the discoloration of your teeth is on the surface or goes deeper.