Everyone knows the importance of regular teeth brushing and visits to the dentist, but for many of us, our teeth might not be as white as we would like. Natural teeth aren’t designed to be blindingly white, but stains from tea, coffee or certain foods can build up and leave our teeth a few shades darker than they could be. Luckily, there are several treatments available from your dentist that can quickly and easily whiten your teeth. If it’s a treatment you’ve been considering, then read on to find out all you need to know about teeth whitening.

Why do teeth become discoloured?

There are two different types of discolouration in teeth; the first is extrinsic which is when the outer enamel becomes stained by tea, coffee, red wine, smoking, or certain fruit and vegetables like tomatoes, beetroot and grapes. This usually isn’t too much of a problem if you brush and floss regularly to remove the build up of plaque, but teeth also become naturally more yellow with age, as the enamel wears down allowing the yellower coloured dentin to show through.

The second is intrinsic, which is when the inner part of the tooth (dentin) darkens or develops a yellow tint. This can be caused by damage to the tooth such as a fall, or because of exposure to too much fluoride in childhood. In the majority of cases, discoloured teeth are not painful or anything to worry about, although some people may want to remove stains for cosmetic reasons.

How can teeth be whitened?

Some mild extrinsic or surface stains can be removed with a professional clean from your dentist, but this may not be enough if you are a smoker or have some intrinsic discolouration. Teeth bleaching can help in this case, and you’ll need several treatments over a few weeks or months. First, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth in order to make a mould for the bleaching gel. The mould can be worn at home and you regularly apply the gel over a period of two to four weeks.

Teeth can also be whitened by laser whitening, when a bleaching product is applied to the teeth and then activated using a laser or light. This process is more expensive but highly effective and has the added bonus of working in just an hour.

If you’re after professional teeth whitening in Stirling, then get in touch with Riverside Dental Practice. We offer in house teeth bleaching, as well as whitening kits for use at home to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. For more information, give us a call to discuss your requirements or see our full range of services on our website.