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A Brighter Smile: Teeth Whitening

Research shows us that our smiles are often the first thing people notice when we meet them for the first time. The sincerity of the smile and the whiteness of the teeth are two factors identified as making a difference to first impressions of new people, and although we can't help with the sincerity, we can certainly improve the whiteness of your teeth!

Tooth whitening is one of the most popular treatments requested at the dentist or orthodontist, and anyone with natural teeth can benefit from the procedure. It's possible that you may feel an increased sensitivity after the treatment, since the peroxide used can occasionally penetrate to the dentin inside the teeth, but this is usually temporary.

What Causes Teeth To Become Discoloured?

Teeth may become discoloured as a result of many different factors, including:

  • Age. As we age, the enamel coating on our teeth becomes thinner due to repeated brushing. This means that the softer dentin underneath begins to show through, and its yellowish colour causes the teeth to look darker.
  • Diet. Many foods and drinks can cause staining on teeth, especially if they contain strong pigments, such as those found in coffee and red wine. Dried fruits are also a common culprit, and some fruit juices or syrups that contain natural colourants can have the same effect.
  • Smoking. Tar and nicotine can both stain teeth a great deal, especially if you smoke for a long time. Giving up smoking can have a very positive impact on many aspects of your health, as well as on the whiteness of your teeth, including reducing your risk of developing many types of cancer.
  • Medications. Some medications contain chemicals that can make teeth appear darker, and especially antibiotics that may influence the development of the teeth if exposure occurs while in the womb or in very early life. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also cause darkening of the teeth.
  • Trauma. If you suffer an injury to the mouth, you may find that your teeth in that area may darken as the body creates more dentin in the teeth to promote healing.
  • Genetic predisposition. Like many aspects of health, tendencies towards tooth staining can run in families. If your parents have experienced their teeth darkening as they have aged, it is likely that this may be your experience too.

What Does Teeth Whitening Treatment Do?

Teeth are whitened professionally by using a bleach solution on the teeth while the gums are protected by a gel or rubber shield. A light or laser may be used to help the whitening agent to work more effectively. Teeth that are yellow usually respond very well to a whitening treatment, while darker or greyer teeth can sometimes need further appointments to achieve good results.

Find a Good Cork Dentist

Visit the Guiney Dental Clinic in Cork to meet our friendly, experienced team, who will be happy to discuss your family's dental needs with you. Call today on 021-481 0535.


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