If you have noticed your teeth are starting to look a bit yellow and want to whiten them, then you need to understand the cause and location of the discoloration to correctly whiten it. Yellow discoloration can be found on the surface enamel layer as well as below the enamel in the dentin. The location of the yellowing determines the tactic you should take for whitening. Using the wrong whitening tactic will not produce the results you desire.
To better understand your dental yellowing, read the information below.
Inside of each of your teeth is a middle layer called the dentin. As you age, the naturally yellow dentin continues to darken. In addition, your enamel becomes thinner and thinner, allowing the dentin to show through. If the dentin is the cause of your yellowing teeth, then you can't do much about the issue at home, and a trip to the dentist is required.
Covering the dentin is the hard outer enamel layer. Tooth enamel is naturally white, but as you age, it becomes stained by many of the different foods and drinks you consume, including:
In addition, smoking cigarettes turns enamel yellow, and this can be one of the hardest stains to remove without professional teeth whitening in a dentist's office.
Effective Teeth Whitening for Enamel Discoloration
Since you can't change the color of the dentin in your teeth, you need to work to whiten the enamel layer. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to do so, including:
- laser whitening treatments
- halogen whitening treatments
- dentist-provided whitening strips or trays
- over-the-counter whitening strips or trays
In addition, you can also use acidic or abrasive natural products to whiten your teeth. Some of the most popular are activated charcoal toothpaste, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. Note, however, that DIY methods can damage your enamel if you use them too often.
Which Whitening Tactic Is Right for You?
To determine how you should go about whitening your teeth, first, have an appointment with your dentist to determine the exact cause of the discoloration. Additionally, your dentist can advise you about the best way to whiten without damaging your teeth or gums in the process. While you can always buy some over-the-counter whitening strips at your local drug store, they don't reach all of your teeth surfaces, aren't FDA approved, and can cause a lot of irritation to your gums while not effectively whitening.