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Alder Family Dental
Walla Walla, WA Dentist

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Why Teeth Whitening Is Important

Posted on 4/18/2018 by Michael Mettler
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One of the most common questions we get at Stone Creek Dental Care is “what is the best way to whiten my teeth?” It’s no secret that teeth whitening is one of the most common requests cosmetic dentists receive when patients want to improve their smile. Our Walla Walla dental team has years of experience with whitening teeth safely to ensure a long-lasting, brighter smile.

Not all teeth whitening solutions are created equal. Whitening your teeth can be a tricky thing and there are many inexpensive methods that may work in the short-term, but can fade quickly after a few weeks. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), if you are looking for a long-term solution to have and maintain whiter teeth, it’s always best to work with a dental professional.

Why Should I Whiten My Teeth?

Before you whiten your teeth, you should ask yourself, “why is it important to improve my smile?” One of the primary reasons we have patients requesting teeth withening is to boost their confidence by having a beautiful, healthy smile. Other reasons to whiten your teeth can include:

- Trying to achieve a younger look in their appearance
- Getting married or are going to an important event
- Fighting against years of aging and wear on teeth
- Reversing yellow and brown blemishes sustained in an accident

The list goes on and on, but all of the reasons fall back into one goal and purpose – to achieve the smile you have always wanted.

Yellow teeth aren’t always an indication that you aren’t taking good care of yourself. Sometimes, there are a multitude of other factors in a person’s lifestyle that will contribute to darkening or yellowing teeth – it’s not always correlated with your health.

Why Are My Teeth Are Turning Yellow?

There are a number of factors that can create a yellow tone on your teeth. Some of the reasons you may experience yellow looking teeth or develop a brownish tint may be due to the following reasons:

- Acidic Drinks - Drinking coffee or tea on a daily basis.
- Smoking - Cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful for all aspects of your oral hygiene, especially with the color of your teeth.
- Practicing Poor Eating Habits – An unhealthy diet can ruin the color of your teeth, especially if you consume the following:
- Processed foods that have high acid levels.
- Sugary drinks and candies ruin enamel (coffee, tea, wine).
- Highly acidic and sugar-rich fruits.
- Aging – Discoloration of your teeth can begin in your late 20s or 30s depending on multiple factors in your lifestyle, as well as genetics.
- Xerostomia (Dry Mouth Condition) - Low saliva levels prevent the enamel on your teeth from being nourished with healthy bacteria-fighting agents.
- Fluoride – If you’re intake levels are high, this can destroy your enamel (typically starts in childhood).
- Antibiotics – There are some antibiotics can destroy the enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to discoloring. A few notable antibiotics that yellow your teeth are:
- Tetracycline (When given to children before the age of 8 years old)
- Doxycycline (When given to children before the age of 8 years old)
- Plaque & Tartar – The accumulation of these bacterial deposits can ruin your teeth and how they look.

Taking some time to reflect on how your teeth are losing or have lost their glowing white color can be the first step in a lifestyle change. While there are some instances where uncontrollable factors may discolor your teeth, you have control over lifestyle habits that can contribute to your unhealthy dental hygiene.

How Can I Professionally Whiten My Teeth?

Dr. Patty Martin strives to provide patients at Stone Creek Dental Care with the most current and forward thinking treatments as possible. It’s important to know that there are instances where some antibiotic drugs, physical impact, and illness can permanently damage the color of your teeth.

Here at Stone Creek in Walla Walla, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to deciding how to whiten your teeth safely. Our convenient location provides the following services for professional whitening your teeth:

- Custom Whitening Trays
- In-Office Zoom! Teeth Whitening
- Guidance on Special Whitening Toothpaste

Can I Naturally Whiten My Teeth?

The answer is, yes! Our team always want to inform patients that there are indeed ways to naturally whiten your teeth. To put it simply, practicing good oral hygiene in itself is the best way to naturally maintain the glossy white shine you want for that perfect smile. There are multiple practices that have no cost in performing, all that are in the power of your daily habits:

- Brush Your Teeth Correctly (2 – 3 Times per Day)
- Flossing Every Day
- Approach Your Diet with Caution

There is a growing trend of many “natural remedies” and other ways to whiten your teeth. It’s always important to consult with our team prior to trying unproven techniques, such as oil pulling, baking soda bases, and washing or rinsing with apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

While some people may have had great success in achieving a brighter smile with these natural at-home methods, there’s still a high risk associated with hurting and destroying the enamel on your teeth. That’s why it’s important to consult with a dental professional who can recommend an effective method to help you achieve the white smile you picture for yourself.

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