A bright, white smile is highly prized in America, as you can see from any photo of celebrities in Hollywood. When they’re young, almost everyone has the gift white teeth, but this white hue can eventually fade and yellow over time. What causes this white color in the first place? The answer is: a coating of enamel. This protective material keeps food and bacteria from decaying your teeth. The enamel gets worn away over time, revealing the dentin underneath, which is a yellow color.
Many people choose to whiten their teeth when they begin to darken and turn yellow. One option for whitening your teeth is bleaching them, which is typically done with whitening gels, strips, or dental procedures. Unfortunately, at-home whitening also can cause side effects like gum irritation, teeth sensitivity, and tooth damage.
Since erosion of enamel often underlies teeth yellowing, such teeth whitening procedures do not address the underlying cause or causes of the discoloration. The chemicals used to artificially whiten your teeth can actually lead to further tooth decay if they are too abrasive for the enamel.
Over time, small cracks can form in the enamel, which can be filled by food and bacteria, causing further decay. A general dentist might recommend teeth cleaning instead to help clean these cracks. Brushing your teeth allows you to scrub away stains from food and drink without harsh chemicals.
Have you had a teeth deep cleaning recently? Do you need insight into your own oral health challenges? If you’re looking for a better way to whiten your teeth, call the team at Pastel Dental today at 415-831-1999. You can also book your next appointment online with Laurel Heights Dentist, Dr. Alex Pastel. We’ll help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.