Teeth Whitening 101: What You Need to Know

Cosmetic dentistry is a form of dental care that focuses on ensuring your smile is as close to perfection as possible. Through procedures from tooth bonding to getting veneers, dentists can help improve the look and feel of your smile. One of the most effective cosmetic dentistry procedures is teeth whitening. Discover the basics of this popular procedure and you just might consider going to your dentist for this smile-enhancing procedure.

What’s the purpose of tooth whitening?

Just as the name implies, tooth whitening will help lighten your teeth while removing stain and discoloration. The natural color of a tooth is a result of the reflection and scattering of light off of its outer layer, otherwise known as enamel, and the color of the dentin beneath it. When your enamel is thinner, more of the color of the dentin will show through it. Your genes can affect the thickness of your tooth enamel as well as its smoothness, which can also impact the reflection of light and resulting color.

Tooth enamel also contains pores that hold stains. Combined with the thin coating that forms on your enamel every day and picks up stains, teeth can start to look discolored.

Why would someone need tooth whitening?

There are several reasons why teeth start to show stains or appear yellow. One of the most common causes is drinking dark-colored liquids such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine. Anyone who uses tobacco typically also starts to experience yellowing. As stains can result from the daily film that forms over your teeth, not practicing proper dental care can allow this film to stain your teeth. Even aging can cause your teeth to appear discolored as your tooth enamel naturally thins over time.

In 2017 alone, about 127.6 million U.S. adults visited a dentist. If you think that your smile could benefit from teeth whitening, don’t put it off any longer. Contact Lynnwood Dental today to set up an appointment with our dedicated professionals.

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