The discoloration of teeth can come from a number of different reasons. Some of the most common factors in tooth discoloration come from aging, excessive drinking of beverages with heavy coloring such as coffee or red wine, smoking, and sometimes trauma. Medications might also be a factor in tooth discoloration as certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medications can affect the color of the teeth.
Professional teeth whitening isn’t permanent and will need to be repeated in order to maintain the whitest smile possible. Teeth whitening also lasts differently from patient to patient. It depends on environment and lifestyle factors. Regardless, teeth darken over time but your smoking, drinking, and eating habits affect how quickly teeth darken. Patients who avoid certain foods and beverages that stain the teeth may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed. It’s important to note that when having your teeth whitened professionally, you aren’t changing the base color of your teeth, you’re essentially just giving them a very nice shine.
Drugstore treatments use whitening agents that aren’t as powerful as those used in professional treatments and they also use a “one-size-fits-all” approach that can produce inconsistent and unsatisfactory results. Plus, because drugstore treatments are not administered by a dental professional, over-the-counter whitening kits are more likely to cause teeth sensitivity issues. Before undergoing a professional whitening treatment, teeth can be evaluated to look for tiny cracks or other issues that may increase the likelihood of temporary sensitivity. Professional in-office whitening treatments can also provide patients with more dramatic results in much less time than a teeth whitening kit purchased from a drugstore, with visible results in a single treatment.
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