In recent years cosmetic teeth whitening has become THE number one patient requested cosmetic procedure, and, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry ® (AACD) consumer demand has increased by over 300% since 1996! A beautiful bright smile can instill confidence and is often associated with health and beauty, which is why we have seen such a huge increase in the demand for cosmetic teeth whitening. As such, many people ask how to whiten their teeth but few ask why their teeth turn yellow.
Teeth can turn yellow for several reasons: smoking, drinking dark colored beverages, antibiotics (tetracycline for example), aging, and genetics as well. All of these factors can very well contribute the dulling of your smile and the yellowing of your teeth, but how?
Cigarettes: small molecules from cigarette smoke attach themselves to the enamel of smokers’ teeth while the smoke is being inhaled. These molecules accumulate over time and leave an unsightly yellow color on the teeth of smokers. These staining molecules are very difficult to remove and are the cause of the yellow stains on the teeth of smokers’.
Dark colored beverages: dark colored beverages yellow teeth in essentially the same manner as cigarettes. However, many dark colored beverages that we consume daily are slightly acidic and can aide the teeth yellowing process. The acid slowly breaks down portions of the tooth’s enamel and over time, colored molecules attach themselves to the teeth. Also, the dentin is exposed through the lightly thinned enamel. Dentin is yellow in color and contributes to teeth yellowing as well.
Anitbiotics: antibiotics such as tetracycline taken during childhood while teeth were developing can contribute to the discoloration or slight greying of teeth as well. This is especially difficult to remove since the discoloration takes place within the teeth themselves. This is not impossible to treat but requires more attention and perhaps more sessions to remove.
Genetics: genetics play a significant role in the color of your teeth. Your genetics help determine the thickness of your enamel on your teeth and how the react to their environment (i.e. your mouth and what you put in it). Enamel is naturally white and the thicker it is, the whiter your teeth can appear.
Aging: The enamel on our teeth naturally thins as we age. Again, thin enamel lets the yellow color of the dentin underneath come through, making your teeth appear yellow. This, however, should not deter you from attempting achieve the best (whitest) results you can with your smile.
Rather, you can take hold and control the color of your smile by controlling what you eat and drink, and abstain form habits that will discolor your teeth. Cosmetic teeth whiting is very effective and you can achieve fantastic results in as little as 20-40 minutes, but it is up to you to maintain that new white smile. After you have whitened your teeth, you should eat healthy foods such as strawberries, cucumbers, and apples. These foods increase saliva which helps kill staining bacteria, and as a bonus, the fiber in these foods also cleans your teeth.
If you are interested in adding cosmetic teeth whitening to your hair spa/salon or tanning spa/salon, please visit our business opportunities page. If you are an entrepreneur and are interested in starting your own teeth whitening business, you can also visit our website as well. Thank you.