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To Bleach or Not to Bleach?

Why do Teeth Darken?

Did you know that teeth are naturally between a light grey and yellow in color?  Aging plays a role in the dimming of a bright smile, as you age the whiter enamel of your teeth starts to thin displaying more of the yellow dentin underneath.  The shade of your teeth can also be affected by staining caused by the consumption of certain foods or the use of tobacco products.  The perception of tooth color can also be influenced by skin tone or makeup.  People with darker skin tones or who use darker makeup have teeth that appear whiter. 

In home solutions to teeth whitening can cause damage to your teeth.  Brushing too vigorously can cause small abrasions in the enamel of your teeth which allow those areas to stain more readily.  Using over-the-counter whitening toothpastes too frequently may lead to enamel damage as well; this is due to the abrasive nature of the pastes.  As most whitening solutions cannot change the shade of any existing dental work (caps, crowns, or partial dentures) it is important to discuss your whitening options with your dentist.  Dr. Kauffman can evaluate your smile and coordinate whitening along with any other necessary or cosmetic dental treatment in order to maintain a consistent shade for all restorations and natural teeth. 

Here at Dr. Kauffman’s office in Atlanta we offer teeth whitening and a wide array of other cosmetic dental services to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted.

Whitening Solutions:

There are many over-the-counter bleaching options available, but your dentist will be able to help you with a solution that is customized just for you.  Dr. Kauffman uses a Chair-side whitening solution by LumiBrite®, designed to comfortably and quickly whiten patients’ teeth.  The combination of LumiBrite® desensitizing enhancer and LumiBrite® whitening gel reduces chair-time required for effective whitening compared to traditional chair-side bleaching treatments.

The treatment can be supplemented with a course at home and of course remembering to avoid the following items: Red Wine, Dark Colas, Coffee or Tea, Red Sauces, Mustard or Ketchup, Soy Sauce, Steak Sauce, Tobacco Products, or anything that would stain a white shirt.

As always seek regular professional dental hygiene care to maintain oral health, keep staining at a minimum, and determine the need for whitening touch-ups.  Practice good oral hygiene including thorough tooth brushing, flossing to remove debris from between teeth, and tongue cleaning.  Whitening your teeth can improve your smile and give you a renewed sense of confidence.  Give us a call today to schedule your whitening consultation, or mention it to your hygienist at your next appointment.  

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