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  • How Dark Teeth Affect Your Appearance

    Are your teeth stained or discolored? If so, you may look older than you really are. Other people might also assume that you have poor oral hygiene or don’t care much about your appearance. By whitening your teeth and avoiding future stains, you can make sure you give off the right impression!

    What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

    Enamel and dentin are the two parts of your teeth that affect their appearance. Enamel—the thin, hard outer covering of your teeth—protects the dentin beneath it. Healthy enamel is a translucent white, allowing the color of the dentin to show through. Stained enamel and darkened dentin can cause teeth to lose their pearly white glow. Here are some examples of why teeth discolor:

    • Genetics: Every person has a different level of natural tooth whiteness. This largely comes down to genetics, but other factors also affect the color of your teeth.
    • Age: Young teeth generally appear whiter and more luminous. Then, as enamel ages, it begins to take on a dull, grey appearance. It’s important to remember that teeth naturally darken with age, even if you maintain a good oral care routine.
    • Food and drinks: Acidic, dark, or brightly colored food and beverages can discolor your teeth. Examples include tomato sauce, berries, soda, coffee, and wine. Food stains can make your teeth look dirty and uncared for, no matter how diligently you brush and floss.
    • Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco cause some of the worst tooth stains. First, they turn your teeth yellow. And if you don’t drop the habit, your teeth could eventually develop brown, grimy streaks.
    • Injury or disease: If you get hit in the mouth while playing sports, the blood flow to an injured tooth could be disrupted, causing it to darken. Some diseases and medications can also make dentin appear yellower.

    Treating Stained Teeth

    Professional teeth whitening is a popular way to remove stains and transform your smile. You could be a good candidate if food and drinks, smoking, and age have discolored your teeth. It’s possible to lighten your teeth by several shades in a single sitting, leaving you with a younger, healthier-looking smile.

    If your dentin is discolored, whitening products may not penetrate deep enough to provide the desired results. Fortunately, other cosmetic dentistry options are available, including crowns and veneers, which can hide discolored teeth and brighten your smile for years to come.

    Once your teeth are white and beautiful, prevent future staining with these tips:

    • Brush twice a day.
    • Floss daily.
    • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
    • Get your teeth cleaned regularly.
    • Swish your mouth with water after consuming staining foods and drinks.

    Ready for those pearly whites you’ve always wanted? Come to West County Dental for help transforming your smile! Dr. Spalitto offers a range of restorative and cosmetic procedures to create the smile of your dreams. Call us at (314) 488-2921 or contact us online to reserve your appointment today.

  • Understanding Your Teeth Whitening Options

    Teeth Whitening Options

    If your teeth have lost their shine over the years and you would like to enjoy a bright smile once again, you may be interested in teeth whitening treatment. Dr. Spalitto, a skilled dentist in St. Louis, is happy to help you achieve a smile that looks as healthy and youthful as ever. Teeth whitening treatment is among the least invasive and simplest treatments that dentistry has to offer. Read on for help in understanding your teeth whitening options.

    In-Office Whitening Procedures
    Many people are unaware that a teeth whitening procedure is an available treatment at all until they meet with their dentists to find out how they can enjoy a brighter smile. If you have never whitened your teeth before, you may want to do so under supervision from a dentist in order to ensure optimal results. Procedures conducted in the dentist’s office may also make use of more powerful products and yield more noticeable results than those you could perform yourself. Your dentist can protect your gums with a special guard to ensure that these powerful products are applied only to your teeth. He or she can also use a heat source to catalyze the teeth whitening process.

    Home Whitening
    If you decide to whiten your teeth at home, you will not use the same products or approach that your dentist would use in the office. Instead, you will typically use a mouthpiece tray that he has created specifically for your teeth. You will add a whitening gel to your custom mouthpiece tray and wear it for a few hours each day. The tray should keep the whitening agent away from your gums since it has been customized for your mouth. You can also find over-the-counter whitening kits at convenience stores, but they may not fit or work as well.

    Whitening Strips
    Another form of teeth whitening treatment is whitening strips. You can apply these gel-coated strips to your teeth twice each day for 30 minutes at a time. After about two weeks, you should experience the end result, which will typically last for about four months afterwards.