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When asked what cosmetic changes most people want to make to their smile, the most requested change turns out to be—whiter teeth. If you are diligently brushing and flossing your teeth every day, you are well on your way to healthy looking teeth. But sometimes, due to other factors, you can use a little help if your teeth are looking more yellow than white.

What Causes Teeth to Change Color?
Age: with time, your tooth enamel gets thinner and exposes the yellowish layer underneath, or dentin. Brushing harshly can wear down tooth enamel, so consider using a soft-bristle toothbrush and brushing thoroughly but gently.

Tobacco: if you use tobacco—whether smoking it or chewing it–you expose your pearly whites to tar and nicotine, both of which stain tooth enamel.

Medications: a side effect of certain medications, like antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure is tooth darkening. Certain antibiotics such as tetracycline and doxycycline can darken teeth in babies.

Trauma: if your mouth sustains an injury, whether by sports or accident, teeth can darken as a result of the tooth reacting to injury by putting down more dentin which is yellower.

Drink: probably the most common tooth darkening agents are everyday drinks like coffee and tea, and even wine, because of their chromogens (color pigments) which stain by attaching to your tooth enamel.

If your teeth have become darker and you would like to effect a change, there are various whitening options available to you. Whitening agents, containing hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are usually done using a whitening tray or gel that fits over your teeth for a certain amount of time. These break stains down so they appear less visible.

You can find whitening toothpastes in your local drugstore or supermarket. These have abrasives to whiten teeth. The upside is that these are inexpensive and easy to find (look for the ADA Seal of acceptance) but they can only remove stains on the enamel so they don’t really change the color of the tooth.

Our dental office offers chairside bleaching as well, and is done in-office in one visit. While you sit comfortably, our dentist applies a bleach solution to your teeth, providing you with the most powerful tooth whitening available!

Our dental team can also provide you with an at-home bleaching gel you place in a tray that you wear over your teeth to wear in the comfort of your own home.

If you are interested in whiter teeth, it is within your grasp to achieve that goal. Give our office a call if you have any questions about teeth whitening at 386.752.1342. Our team at Lake City Family Dental Center is happy to help you with all of your dental needs!