white teeth Rider Family Dentistry Dentist in Cherokee, IA

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening in Cherokee, Iowa 

For discolored teeth, whitening may be the solution to brighten your smile. Whether the discoloration was from food or drink, teeth whitening can help lighten the shade of your teeth. For more information about how teeth whitening can brighten your smile, keep reading. 


How Do Teeth Become Discolored?

There are many ways that teeth can become discolored. Staining can happen from the outside of the tooth or the inside of the tooth. From the outside in, one of the most common ways is through food and drink. Coffee, tea, and colas are all culprits of tooth discoloration. Additionally, activities like smoking can discolor your smile. Aging can wear down teeth causing the underlayer of your teeth to be exposed. This layer of your tooth is darker and causes a yellowing appearance. Over time, teeth become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.

One type of stain—caused by traumatic injuries, medications, and fluorosis—actually begins inside the tooth. This means that brushing and flossing do not help to lessen the appearance of the stain. Whether your stain started from the inside or the outside of your tooth, Rider Family Dentistry may be able to help you whiten your smile. Today, more and more people are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.

How To Avoid Tooth Discoloration?

There are a few ways to prevent tooth discoloration without avoiding all the discoloring food and drink agents. One way is by drinking coffee, colas, and teas through a straw. This will limit the time the liquid is on your teeth. You can alternate drinking a discoloring drink with water to rinse out your mouth in between sips. Lastly, one of the best ways to prevent tooth discoloration is regular good oral hygiene. Flossing, brushing, and using mouthwash twice a day can help prevent cavities and brighten your smile.


In-Store Versus Professional Teeth Whitening 

Many patients wonder if they should choose in-store teeth whitening or come to Rider Family Dentistry for professional teeth whitening. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely. Yet, some commercially available “whitening toothpaste” may have abrasive substances that can wear away your tooth’s enamel. The enamel is your tooth’s protective layer. It prevents food and bacteria from eating away at the inside of your tooth. So, it is important to keep this layer clean, with regular brushing and flossing, and strong, with regular dental exams. 

Further, we recommend a dental exam before teeth whitening procedures to ensure your teeth are healthy enough. Whitening teeth with decay or gum disease can cause more dental problems. Finally, professional whitening is usually more effective than in-store teeth whitening. This is because dentists use custom-fit trays, stronger whitening gel products, and a professional application process to whiten your smile. 


Can All Stains Be Whitened?

It is important to visit Dr. Rider for an exam to learn more about your whitening options. Whitening agents change the color of your teeth but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth. Additionally, whitening may not work on other restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding, and tooth-colored fillings. A different type of restoration that can brighten your smile is dental veneers and bonding. Dental veneers are porcelain caps that adhere to the front of the tooth, while bonding is a procedure where a composite resin, a putty-like material, is formed to your teeth. Both of these options can be shades lighter than your natural teeth. They can also be shaped and formed to your liking. 

Professional whitening performed by Rider Family Dentistry is considered to be the most effective and safest method. When done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.

Contact our office today to learn more and schedule an appointment.