The old adage about not wearing white after Labor Day does not apply to your teeth. White teeth are in style at any time.According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, 68 percent of women said their smile affects their self-confidence.If your teeth are yellow or discolored, you may not feel confident about your smile. Fortunately, you can change that with professional teeth whitening or veneers. You can find both services at any Sunrise Dental location. Stop by any our of dentists offices in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Cary to learn more.Proceed with cautionIf you have yellow teeth, you may be tempted to use one of the countless over-the-counter products available at grocery and other retail stores.Toothpaste, mouthrinses, strips, gels, and trays are all available, but none of them are as effective as the treatments you can get at a dentist office.At Sunrise Dental, we offer both in-office and take-home teeth whitening products. These are more effective and more efficient than anything you will find in the aisle next to the candy at the grocery.For other patients, veneers can provide the same benefit, but through a different process.Causes of yellow teethYellow and discolored teeth generally don’t just happen. In most case, this occurs gradually as a result of the things we put in our mouths.Here are some common reasons you may have discolored or yellow teeth:
Tobacco — Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, dip, and other tobacco products cause stains because of nicotine and tar. Nicotine combines with oxygen to leave yellow stains, and tar is a dark substance that can leave behind evidence of where it has been.
Food and drink — Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and wine may be delicious, but they also stain the enamel of our teeth. Too much of these things can show up on your teeth.
Medicine — Unfortunately, a side effect of some drugs used to treat other health issues can be yellow teeth. Some antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medicine cause this issue, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments may also lead to discoloration of your teeth.
Age — As you already know, our bodies just work better when we are younger. This is true for your teeth as well. With time, the enamel on our teeth can wear down, allowing the naturally yellower dentin underneath to show through.
Injury — Your teeth may produce more dentin if you are hit in the mouth.
The reason for your teeth discoloration will affect whether teeth whitening or veneers are a better option for restoring your smile.Teeth whiteningOur patients in The Triangle have the choice of Sinsational Smile® and Opalescence.Sinsational Smile® is our in-office treatment, and it’s fast. The treatment only takes 20 minutes to work.Like some commercial products, Sinsational Smile® uses a silicone tray that you place in your mouth. You hold the tray in your mouth as we shine an LED light to activate the whitening ingredients in the gel.You also receive an easy-to-use “pen” to help you maintain your new, whiter smile.If you would prefer a product that you can use at home, we also offer Opalescence. This system also uses a powerful whitening gel and custom trays that you wear at your convenience. If you do use our take-home product, please follow the instruction closely for the best results.VeneersIf you think of whitening as being similar to bleaching, then veneers are more like putting a shell outside your teeth.You could compare getting veneers to putting new vinyl siding on the outside of a house. This can improve the overall appearance while retaining the shape of what was already there.Veneers are made of a ceramic material that matches the color of natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are used to conceal the exterior of teeth that have become yellow or discolored.Depending on the type of veneers you receive, we may need to do some minimal preparation to your teeth before the veneers can be bonded in place. Lumineers, in particular, require very little work because they are so thin (around 0.2 mm thick). Once your veneers are bonded to your teeth, you will see a dramatic change. Your smile will go from yellow to pearly white.Keeping your white smileRegardless of which approach you take, keeping your smile looking great will require proper oral care. This means brushing twice every day, flossing daily between your teeth and gums, and keeping your regular check-ups with your dentist and any of our convenient locations.To learn more about teeth whitening or veneers, call any of our offices at (919) 914-0844 in Cary, (919) 929-3996 in Chapel Hill, (919) 493-3355 in Durham, (919) 878-0055 in Raleigh, or make your appointment with our online form.