Most of us would love to enjoy more dazzling smiles. In fact, in a 2012 study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, “when respondents were asked, ‘What would you most like to improve about your smile?’ The most common response was whiter and brighter teeth.” Millions of Americans whiten their teeth to achieve a lighter look, but this doesn’t appear to work for everyone. Have you ever tried a whitening product only to notice minimal or no results? This can be quite disheartening. Fortunately, Dr. Cindy Flanagan and our Houston dental team are here to help. In the following blog, we explain some common reasons why your teeth won’t whiten, and what you can do to finally enjoy the pearly whites you’ve been after.
An Intrinsic Issue
Basically, there are two ways your teeth can become discolored:
- Extrinsically, from the outside in. This more common form of yellowing occurs when substances like coffee, wine, and smoke leave behind particles that get lodged in your enamel, staining your teeth.
- Intrinsically, from the inside out. This occurs when the inner portion of the tooth becomes damaged, perhaps due to overuse of fluoride, injury, or certain medications.
As you might suspect, extrinsic stains are typically much easier to erase than intrinsic damage. Some whitening treatments can break apart the dark particles in the enamel, but can’t reach the deeper portions of the tooth to handle intrinsic staining.
If you’ve been attempting to remedy intrinsic stains with more superficial whitening approaches, you may get the sense that your teeth simply won’t whiten. However, this isn’t true. Advanced methods such as our KöR Deep Bleaching teeth whitening can minimize discoloration from intrinsic stains.
The Right White
Whitening products seem to be everywhere these days: in the grocery store aisle, at the local pharmacy, and online, to name a few places. However, it’s important to do your due diligence and find a treatment that actually works. In her Prevention piece, “6 Teeth-Whitening Mistakes You’re Making,” Molly Raisch provides a few key tips:
- “Save your cash instead of springing for tooth-whitening mouthwashes.” These usually aren’t particularly effective and could actually be too abrasive for your mouth.
- Don’t abuse whitening strips: “There’s a reason why your box of white strips comes with time limit instructions…using them longer than you’re supposed to can lead to unattractive splotching on your teeth and increased sensitivity.”
- Read the label! Many people don’t realize that a large portion of inexpensive teeth whitening treatments are not approved by the FDA, so “you could be getting chemical concentrations that can damage your teeth.”
- Whitening trays are not truly “one-size-fits-all…everyone’s smile is different, which means we shouldn’t be using the same size tray to whiten our teeth.” Using an incorrectly sized tray for your mouth could lead to uneven whitening or even damage your smile.
Like many cosmetic treatments, you have to balance the cost of your teeth whitening treatment with its quality. It could be the case that your teeth would whiten just fine, if you only used workable products. Your best bet is to have your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist, like Dr. Flanagan. In addition to KöR Deep Bleaching, we offer ZOOM! Whitening. We can also provide an at-home whitening treatment with custom-made trays designed to fit your unique smile.
Whitening is less likely to work in the presence of other oral health concerns, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. Colgate Oral Care Center explains: “cavities need to be treated before teeth are whitened. That’s because the whitening solution can pass through decayed areas and reach the inner parts of the tooth. If your gums have receded, the exposed roots of your teeth may appear yellow or discolored. Whitening products will not make them whiter.”
Before you jump to improving the aesthetics of your smile, it’s important to take care of the dental basics. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, you should maintain your oral health by coming to see Dr. Flanagan at least twice a year for an examination and cleaning. Unresolved dental issues like decay and gum disease could be the barrier to getting results with whitening.
Are You Ready to Really Whiten Your Teeth?
Dr. Flanagan and our Houston dental team would be glad to assist you! Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment.
Original Source: http://flanagansmiles.com/cosmetic-dentistry/teeth-wont-whiten/