Dental Care Blog

Doug Klein DDS, Grandville MI

Should You Bleach Your Teeth As White As The Grand Rapids Snow?

There are many reasons for tooth discoloration, and even if you take especially great care of your teeth, it can still be hard to keep them as white as they were when you were a little kid.

The solution?

Getting your teeth whitened, but it doesn’t come without a lot of questions. Luckily, Klein Dentistry has the answers.

Professional teeth whitening at Klein Dentistry in Grandville MI

Why Do Teeth Discolor And Require Whitening?

If your teeth have started to yellow, take comfort in knowing that it’s a normal part of aging for just about everyone. Just as your hair can turn gray, your teeth can turn yellow. The enamel on your teeth is what gives them their white color, but as you age, your enamel begins to wear away. It’s actually the inner part of the tooth called dentin — not the outer enamel — that yellows.

As your enamel begins to wear away, it reveals the darker tissue that surrounds the nerves and blood vessels in your teeth. You can’t repair this erosion, so your teeth begin to take on more of a dull gray/yellow-ish color.

More Ways That Teeth Can Get Stained:

  • Drinking dark liquids like coffee, tea, and pop
  • Using tobacco products, which contain toxic tar
  • Being exposed to too much fluoride when young, which can result in stains inside the teeth
  • Poor brushing habits which result in a plaque buildup
  • Tooth trauma, which can cause a tooth to die
  • Taking the antibiotic tetracycline before age 10
  • Grinding your teeth, which can lead to cracks and dark spots

Different Ways To Whiten Teeth

There are several different ways that you can whiten your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

It’s as simple as brushing your teeth, and is a great and inexpensive method for removing surface stains. However, it only lightens your teeth superficially with a peroxide derivative which whitens the enamel. It’s relative low strength and low exposure times makes it less effective. It will not change the internal color of your teeth and it may cause tooth sensitivity.

Custom-Made Whitening Trays

These are custom-made by your dentist after taking impressions of your teeth. The trays keep the whitening gel in place, surrounding the 3D surfaces of the teeth, ensuring even coverage. This also keeps the gel away from the gums where it can do harm. However, this is a safe, cost-effective method that can produce excellent results.

Whitening Strips

Each flexible strip is coated with a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and they mold around your teeth — one on the top and the bottom. While inexpensive, they can also produce uneven results since they’re not custom fit. Whitening strips work best if your teeth are straight and not over-lapped or crowded. They can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity.

Who Shouldn’t Whiten Their Teeth

White tooth whitening is a noninvasive procedure, there are some people who should talk to their dentist about their unique situation before making a decision. This includes people who:

  • Have teeth that are already sensitive
  • Have gum recession
  • Have sensitive gums
  • Are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide
  • Have multiple cavities tooth decay
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are below the manufacturer’s recommended age (usually 14-15 years)

Is Teeth Whitening Worth It?

Deciding to whiten your teeth is a personal decision, but it’s worth the investment of both your time and money if you willing to do it the right way.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution, be sure to look at your habits and see if there’s anything that you can change — perhaps drinking out of a straw or kicking your tobacco habit.

Call Klein Dentistry In Grandville MI To Schedule An Appointment And Learn If Teeth Whitening Is Right For You

To learn more about how we can help you smile brighter than ever, or to schedule an appointment, contact us anytime. We’d love to learn more about your situation and find a plan that’s right for you.