We are all well aware that our bodies and health change with age. However, many of us do not realize that our teeth are also affected by the passing of the years. Even though we proudly brush and floss regularly, our teeth are not as bright and white as they once were. It becomes more, and more difficult to maintain a healthy and youthful looking smile. Even over-the-counter whitening treatments do not remove stains as they once did.
Dr. Lin and team at the Dallas, TX Cosmetic Dental Office sees many patients who simply do not understand why their teeth are becoming dull, dark, dingy, and difficult to whiten. There are a couple reasons why dental enamel changes in appearance over the years. The first is due to environmental factors which contribute to some extent. The more prevalent reason is the natural aging process.
Regular brushing and flossing will always remove some staining on the surface of the dental enamel. Foods and beverages such as blueberries, soda, coffee, tea, and red wine are notorious for causing surface staining. The use of tobacco products such as cigarettes can especially cause tooth discoloration. When these stains are relatively new, they can be effectively removed or bleached away. However, they will eventually seep into the porous enamel which makes them almost impossible to remove.
A young person’s teeth are covered by a thick layer of white dental enamel. This enamel covers the inner core of the tooth. As we age, this enamel will begin to wear away which exposes more of the dentin beneath the surface. Dentin is naturally darker and yellower in color, as compared to dental enamel which is bright and white.
The good news for those patients with dull, dark and yellow teeth is that there are many treatment options available. These options vary based upon specific cosmetic goals, extent of discoloration, and the urgency in which results are desired. Some patients respond well to professional teeth bleaching treatments. These treatments were designed specifically to lighten discoloration by use of a solution of hydrogen peroxide. Dental veneers are another cosmetic treatment option. Dental veneers completely resurface the enamel by use of ultra thin layers of porcelain. The dental veneers option is more appropriate for those patients with extensive or resistant staining.
It’s simply not possible to get rid of all dental staining. Teeth are bound to accumulate environmental stains, and they will naturally lose some of their brightness and whiteness over time. The good news is that modern cosmetic dentistry provides options that will restore much of the original luster of the smile. The result is a more healthy and youthful looking smile which is desired by all. For more information on which teeth whitening treatment will work for you, call the Dallas, TX Cosmetic Dentist today!
Cosmetic Dentist Discusses How To Maintain a Healthy Smile