There are numerous reasons your teeth may have turned yellow or dull. There are also numerous people who have equally yellow teeth, or worse. That’s why statistics show that in 2018 over 40 million people used a teeth whitening product.
The good news is that there are hundreds of teeth whitening products. Also, the bad news is that hundreds of products make it almost impossible to figure out which one will best whiten your teeth and give you a dazzling, youthful smile.
Experienced dental professionals Woo Young Lee, DDS, and Sean Kim, DDS, at Grace Dental Group in San Francisco, California, explain why your teeth turn yellow and the best way to whiten and brighten them.
Why your teeth are discolored
As mentioned above, there are numerous reasons for teeth to turn yellow, brown, or gray. The most common reasons are the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Think of it this way: if something can stain your clothes, such as red wine, coffee, or tea, it can stain your teeth.
Other reasons for discolored teeth include:
- Certain medications
- Tobacco use
- Trauma to your tooth or teeth
- Not brushing and flossing regularly or adequately
Additionally, your teeth often turn yellow as you get older. Tooth enamel, which is the top white layer of your teeth, thins out over time, revealing the layer beneath called dentin, which is yellow.
Best teeth whitening options
From whitening toothpaste to whitening strips and whitening trays, there are many options to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth. Before you try any product, you should consult your dentist. Not all products will work on all stains. Also, it’s essential to address any underlying dental issues such as cavities or gum disease first.
Most products work by applying a bleaching agent to the top layer of your teeth. There are numerous products available over-the-counter, and many are effective. However, they usually have to be applied every day for a week or two weeks or more, depending on the product you choose.
In-office teeth whitening is the quickest, safest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth. Instead of waiting for two weeks, you can whiten your teeth in one office visit. Plus, the whitening agent is much stronger with an in-office procedure, meaning your teeth will be many shades whiter than if you used an over-the-counter product. For many, the cost is worth the time you will save and the excellent, long-lasting results you will experience.