As you age, your teeth may become stained from consuming certain foods and beverages. You can restore your teeth to their previous luster with whitening products that do not harm tooth enamel. While there are a variety of tooth whitening products available over-the-counter, severe staining may require treatment from a dentist.
Teeth can become stained from certain foods, but beverages such as tea and coffee are the most common causes of dull teeth. When teeth are stained, light cannot travel through the teeth and they appear dingy. Once stains are removed, light is not blocked and your teeth will appear whiter and brighter.
Tooth whiteners typically contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide, which is not known to cause damage to tooth enamel. Studies have shown that tooth-whitening products have minimal effect on the hardness of teeth, as well. Products containing 10 percent carbamide peroxide are also considered safe for use on fillings, crowns, bridges and veneers.
Whitening products containing peroxide work by using oxygen molecules to go inside teeth, breaking down stains. If your teeth have yellow or brown stains from coffee or tobacco use, consider using a whitening gel for maximum effectiveness. Stubborn stains may require several months of treatment for best results.
“Common Questions About Teeth Whitening .” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening-faq>.
“At-home tooth whiteners.” Consumer Reports Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/august-2009/home-garden/tooth-whiteners/overview/tooth-whiteners-ov.htm>.