What You Probably Don’t Know About Tooth Whitening

Flossing and brushing teeth at least twice a day are everyday ways of ensuring that your teeth are healthy and white. But if you feel that your teeth are losing their sparkle, then know that you are not alone. Recently, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they would most love to improve on their smile.

Surprisingly, most of the respondents said that they would like to have whiter teeth. A similar study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontists found out that close to 90 percent of dental patients requested tooth whitening. If you are planning of teeth whitening, then get the facts first.

What Makes Teeth to Change Color?

With time, your teeth can turn from white to a not-so-pleasant color for various reasons. Certain foods and beverages like tea, coffee, and red wines are the main culprits for teeth staining. These foods contain color molecules known as chromogens that attach to the enamel of the tooth. The chromogens attach to the surface of the enamel resulting in extrinsic staining. On the other hand, they can also penetrate the enamel resulting in intrinsic staining. Extrinsic stains are easy to remove with the typical over-the-counter whitening agents while extrinsic stains require specialized attention.


Tobacco contains two main chemicals responsible for stubborn stains. The two compounds are nicotine and tar. Nicotine is usually colorless until it comes into contact with oxygen forming a yellowish stain on the surface of the tooth. On the other hand, tar is naturally dark.


Tooth staining can be as a result of certain medications such as antipsychotics, antihistamine and hypertension medications. Exposing young children to certain antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline during tooth development can result in tooth discoloration later in life. Certain treatments such as neck and head radiation, and chemotherapy can darken teeth.

Age and Trauma

Tooth discoloration can also result from advancement in age. With age, the enamels wear out exposing the inner part of the tooth known as dentin, which is naturally yellow. Injuries on the teeth can also cause discoloration. When there is an injury on the teeth, the body naturally reacts by deposition more dentin, which is yellow. The process of teeth whitening naples fl is a breeze especially when it is done by a professional or by use of proper tooth whitening agents. The whitening products contain either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which break the stubborn stains into smaller pieces, making the teeth to appear brighter.

Are Teeth Whitening Agents Effective on All Stained Teeth?

No! As stated earlier, stains can either be intrinsic or extrinsic, which is why it is essential to talk to a cosmetic dentist before deciding on using teeth whiteners. For instance, yellow-stained teeth will bleach easily compared to brown-stained teeth. Besides, some teeth whiteners will not work on all veneers, caps, and crowns. Some people may experience increased tooth sensitivity after using certain whitening products. Mostly, sensitivity is short-lived, and you can delay treatment and then resume later.