by Dr. Michael Vold

Have you ever wondered what happened to the beautiful white teeth you had as a child? As we grow older, our tooth enamel starts to weaken and become more porous. Over time, the enamel becomes stained. This is especially true for smokers and people who drink coffee, tea and red wine. Highly colored foods can also cause staining, as well as soft drinks, sweets and excessive fluoride. Teeth can also become discolored from certain medications, such as tetracycline. Your teeth also darken with age – part of Mother Natures cruel design.

There are several ways you can avoid stains, such as drinking beverages with a straw. The straw will keep the liquid away from your teeth. Quickly swallowing foods or beverages that cause stains will minimize the problem as well. Brushing and flossing after eating is also an important factor in maintaining the original color of your teeth.

One way to restore your teeth’s natural whiteness is with dental Chicago tooth whitening. There are many over-the counter tooth whitening products such as gels and whitening strips that can be used at home. Most of these products will need to be applied on a regular basis to keep teeth looking white. The results from at-home kits can vary depending on the product. People who use at-home tooth whitening products are often at higher risk of gum irritation and burns from bleaching. Another common problem for kit users is overbleaching, which can increase the sensitivity of teeth and decrease tooth enamel.

Because dental office Chicago teeth whitening is conducted by a trained professional, the risk of gum and tooth damage is minimized, making it the best teeth whitening route to take. Many people prefer dentist whitening of the teeth because the entire procedure can be completed quickly, uniformly and generally will achieve better results.

Types of bleach include hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which changes to hydrogen peroxide when applied. The in-office process uses products with stronger concentrations from the over-the-counter strips and gels. This insures optimal results within the shortest period of time.

Not all stains or discoloration can be eliminated with whitening for teeth. If you have yellow teeth, you are probably a good candidate for the procedure. Some of the discolorations caused by sensitivity to minerals in the water or medications may require special techniques that can only be delivered by the dental office.

Tooth whitening will not change the color of fillings from earlier dental procedures. If you have fillings on your front teeth, you may want to consider re-doing those restorations following tooth whitening.

There are many benefits to teeth whitening Chicago, including a more attractive smile, looking younger and creating a good first impression when meeting other people. The procedure can also increase a person’s self-esteem and result in better oral hygiene.

If you are considering whitening your teeth, a dentist Northbrook can give you expert advice on the procedure and discuss any concerns you have regarding the process. A dental office that offers teeth whitening can also advise you on which tooth whitening method is best for your teeth.