At some point in most patients’ lives, teeth begin to lose their beautiful luster. Whether one or more teeth are stained, or they begin to change from pearly white to disturbingly yellow, a discolored smile can frustrate patients who believe that their hygiene practices are good, if not excellent. The truth, though, is that teeth can lose their color and shine naturally, from meals and beverages as well as from years of use, and a less-than-stunning smile may not indicate poor oral health. With a few tips from your Park Ridge cosmetic dentists, you can prolong the need for professional teeth whitening, or revamp your smile if its brilliance has already begun to fade.
Minimize Teeth Stains
Prevention is typically preferable when it comes to oral health issues, but since teeth can stain from the food and beverages you consume, preventing teeth stains isn’t always a successful endeavor. By taking care with your eating habits, however, you can minimize instances of staining and help your teeth protect themselves, as well.
The small molecules that dictate food’s color are called chromogens. Aside from their pigment, chromogens are troublesome for their tendency to cling to tooth enamel (the highly-mineralized substance that surrounds and protects teeth). This tendency is encouraged when certain oral bacteria convert sugar and carbohydrates into acid, which weakens tooth enamel and makes it easier for chromogens to adhere to it. By brushing and flossing your teeth everyday and controlling your snacking habits, you can limit the amount of chromogens, bacteria, and acid that your teeth are exposed to, minimizing the risk for teeth stains. Drinking or swishing water around your mouth immediately after a meal can also help rinse away harmful microbes and neutralize enamel-weakening acids.
Learn Your Options
If minimizing teeth stains isn’t an option because they’re already present, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas offer a choice of teeth whitening options. For patients in a hurry, our in-office teeth whitening system can brighten smiles in as little as one hour. If you prefer to improve your smile at your leisure, we may recommend a take-home whitening kit that includes custom-made whitening trays that fit over your teeth. The trays allow you to evenly apply the whitening gel, and in 10-14 days, your smile can be up to 10 shades brighter.
About Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas:
Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled restorative and cosmetic dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.