Yellow is a Nice Color for Leaves. Not Teeth!

Watching the leaves turn beautiful colors is one of the best things about fall. Watching your teeth turn colors isnt quite as fun! If your teeth dont look as bright white as they used to, dont worry discoloration is common. Even if you floss daily and brush the recommended two minutes twice a day, eating and drinking things like red wine, coffee, tea, and even berries and beets1 can turn your teeth a less-than desirable hue. But theres good news: There are many options that can get your smile sparkling again. In-office bleaching. Done at the dentists office, this is the fastest (and most expensive) method of whitening. Your dentist will apply a bleaching agent to your teeth and use a special light to speed up the whitening process. Each session takes about 30-60 minutes. Depending on the state of your teeth and how much lighter youve decided to make them, this can take one session, or several.2 At-home bleaching. Your dentist will make a mold of your teeth for this option, and then make custom trays that conform to your teeth. Youll take these home and squirt bleaching gel in them, and then wear the trays once a day for a few hours each time (or even overnight). The whole process takes about two weeks. Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening. These are products including strips or gel that you apply to your teeth that can be purchased at various drugstores or retailers. Theyre similar to the bleaching agent your dentist uses, but since theyre not as strong, the whitening process will take longer.2 Whitening toothpaste. If youre just looking to remove stains, toothpastes with special chemical or polishing agents might do the trick. But they wont change the color of your teeth.2 Whatever option you decide to go with, be sure to consult your dentist first. There are risks associated with whitening, including tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of teeth. Your dentist will likely have insight into problems that could arise based on your dental history and he or she may also have recommendations on what method will work best for your unique whitening needs.

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD28 2 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21276


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