Northampton, MA – As we age, we may find our smiles lacking the bright white shine they once had. There are several factors that can lead to this, but not to worry – there are also many solutions to give you back a sparkling smile.
“Teeth stains occur for a variety of reasons,” says Northampton dentist Dr. Lisa B. Emirzian. “One reason is simply your age. Over time, the outer layer of our enamel slowly gets worn, resulting in the yellow color of the underlying dentin showing through.”
While you can’t control yellowing due to aging, there are several factors you can control, such as what you eat and drink. Drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas and wine can result in discoloration of your teeth.
Many people assume only red wine affects the teeth, but white wine can also affect the color of your teeth, especially if you are also a tea drinker. The New York University School of Dentistry performed a study that showed that tea drinkers had their teeth stained more severely if the teeth had previously been exposed to white wine. Many esthetic dentistry experts believe tea may actually be more of a stain culprit than coffee. If you are a tea drinker, opt for herbal, green and white teas rather than black tea.
Sodas are very acidic and can cause significant staining over time, even if they are light colored. Sports drinks are also high in acid that can soften tooth enamel, thereby setting the stage for later staining.
Berries and other intensely colored fruit, and the foods and beverages made from them, are also stain heavy. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes and pomegranates may all send you running to your cosmetic dentist for whitening treatment.
Additionally many sweets, such as hard candies, popsicles and chewing gums, can affect your smile. A good rule of thumb is that if it changes the color of your tongue, it may be having the same effect on your teeth.
Everyone knows smoking is bad for our health, but it also wreaks havoc on your teeth as well. Any tobacco use, whether cigarettes or chewing tobacco, can stain teeth.
Failure to properly care for your teeth through inadequate brushing and flossing will also result in tooth stains because the plaque and stain producing agents will remain on the teeth.
There are also other factors that are simply out of our control, such as genetics. Some people are simply born with more enamel to protect their teeth than others. There are also several diseases that affect the enamel of the teeth, as well as treatment for conditions such as cancer. Head and neck radiation treatments and chemotherapy can result in tooth discoloration. And some medications may also alter the color of your teeth. The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline may result in discoloration when given to children whose teeth are still developing. Antihistamines, antipsychotics and even blood pressure medicine may also cause discoloration.
But there is good news. Even if your smile is currently less than white, there are several great options for teeth whitening.
“At EMA Dental and our new Refresh Whitening Spa, we offer a number of in-office whitening procedures including ZOOM!,” says Dr. Emirzian. “Our whitening options are affordable, convenient and because they are among the most advanced tooth whitening options available, they provide excellent results.”
Tooth whitening is the least invasive cosmetic procedure you can have performed and you can achieve whiter teeth in as little as a half hour.
If you’d rather whiten your teeth from the comfort of your own home, EMA Dental also offers a whitening program that is just as effective as inoffice whitening but takes a bit more time to see the final results. Using an easy-to-use, but lower concentration peroxide gel, the patient coats the teeth for one to two hours a day for up to three weeks to achieve their optimum whitening. The gel is held in place with the help of a custom made tray.
No matter which option you choose, now is the perfect time to get that smile back to its brightest. And it may also be time to alter some of your habits that might be contributing to discoloration of your teeth. If you are interested in how whitening can change your smile, call EMA Dental for a consultation.
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