You don't like your yellow teeth and would prefer a nice, white smile. Years of use, drinking coffee and soda, your diet, and maybe some bad habits like smoking contributed to the yellow stains. Every time you look in the mirror, you ask yourself can yellow teeth be transformed into white teeth?
You can turn your yellow teeth into white teeth, although how white depends on the extent of the stain and the treatment used. The best course of treatment to get whiter teeth is to seek a professional whitening treatment from your dentist.
Getting an In-Office Whitening Treatment
A whitening treatment from your dentist is the fastest way to get whiter teeth. Your dentist will go over what treatments create different shades and the type of results you can expect. It may take several treatments to get to the desired shade if you have severely yellowed teeth.
The dentist will use a whitening agent that has either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in it. They will use either an ultraviolet or LED light to activate the whitener. You will get whiter teeth by the end of the treatment.
What Happens During Teeth Whitening
The first thing your dentist will do is examine your teeth to make sure there isn't any underlying decay causing the dinginess. This will involve X-rays and a visual exam.
The teeth whitening process involves about an hour and a half of work including light activation time. More complicated cases can take up to two hours.
A dentist will also examine your teeth for color and mark the current tooth shade. Then, your teeth will be polished using a grainy substance to remove plaque.
Gauze will be placed in your mouth to keep your teeth dry and retractors will be inserted to keep your lips, cheeks, and tongue away from the solution. A barrier is installed to protect your gums. This part of the process can be uncomfortable.
The dentist will then put the gel on the teeth. The gel can cure the teeth for up to 60 minutes before your teeth are rinsed. This requires you to be reasonably still for the light to cure the whitening gel. Flouride is usually applied to soothe sensitive teeth.
Will It Hurt?
Teeth whitening doesn't hurt and no local anesthesia has to be used to perform it. You may have some tooth sensitivity afterward but that typically goes away after a couple of days.
However, those who have trouble with dental anxiety should talk to their dentist about sedation methods to help them through the whitening process.
We offer several options for those who have anxiety issues while in the dental chair.
Other Ways to Whiten Teeth
Severely yellowed teeth can't be corrected well with methods outside of a dental visit. However, other methods can help whiten teeth and maintain their brightness after an in-office teeth whitening visit.
Some of these other options may be a good solution for those with minor staining.
You can whiten your teeth using:
- At-home whitening kits
- Whitening stripes
- Whitening rinses and toothpaste
- Brushing with baking soda regularly
Each of these things offers some minimal results in whitening your teeth. At-home whitening kits provided by your dentist offer the best results outside of a dental office visit. However, you must use it every day and be patient while waiting on results. It can take up to three weeks to achieve a good result with the kits.
Whitening stripes offer some hope for better looking teeth but won't remove darker stains. You must use them regularly to achieve a real difference.
Whitening rinses and toothpaste offer no remarkable results at all but can help maintain teeth in their whiter shade once you get whitening done at the dentist.
The home remedy of baking soda can offer some help in getting a brighter smile but it's no more effective than a whitening toothpaste that has baking soda in it.
Preventing Yellow Teeth
Yellow teeth will happen as you age. That's because teeth enamel wears away and reveals more of the dentin, which is more yellow. You can prevent teeth staining by watching your diet, avoiding habits like smoking, and sticking with a good oral hygiene routine.
Diet, even eating healthy foods, can be a contributing factor to tooth stains. Things like blueberries or strawberries and dark wine can turn your teeth yellow.
Getting your teeth cleaned regularly at the dentist can improve your overall oral health and reduce the amount of staining. Your dentist can inform you of any problems to be aware of that can cause tooth discoloration.
Those that get a head start on dealing with teeth issues will keep their teeth looking better and lasting longer.
Those who have other teeth issues, like severely worn teeth, chipped or broken teeth and deep staining may want to consider another option like veneers to get the smile they've always wanted.
Don't Overdo It
Some people are so obsessed with a beautiful smile that overdo things like whitening stripes and at-home kits. That is a mistake because it will make your teeth look blue and even translucent.
That's why it's best to seek professional help from a dentist to deal with severely stained or yellow teeth. Professional teeth whitening can last up to a year if you care for your teeth so it's a good investment in your smile.