Being 60 years old gives many reasons to smile-grandchildren, retirement, spirituality, etc. But then, smiling teeth are meant to be white-not yellow, brown or black. Sometimes, dental caries or bacteria could be responsible for your discoloured teeth. Proper restoration of your teeth, by removing the bacteria, is helpful in such cases. There are many options to choose from – composite restorations, composite veneers, porcelain veneers, full ceramic crowns, etc.
Discolouration and stains
The natural colour of our pearls could also undergo change, when there is bleeding within the tooth. This is usually seen in cases of trauma caused to teeth. Staining of the tooth surface could occur intrinsically, like in cases where the enamel wears off in older people, giving them darker teeth; or in cases of fluorosis, which result in white flecks and brown stains. Our lifestyle habits are mostly responsible for the extrinsic stains.
Six reasons for Extrinsic Staining
- Poor oral hygiene: plaque stuck on the teeth can turn them yellow
- Drinks such as tea, coffee and colas
- Iron syrup leaves black marks on teeth
- Long-term use of mouth washes containing chlorhexidine
- Smoking, paan (betel leaf) chewing
- Chromogenic bacteria
Besides regular thorough brushing with a good toothpaste, flossing and getting your teeth cleaned by a dentist to remove plaque and debris, you can also opt to get your teeth bleached, and to get your teeth snowy white once again.
Bleaching is a safe and inexpensive modality to treat many types of tooth discolouration.
- Non-vital bleaching: If the discolouration stems from degeneration of the tooth pulp (the extreme interior of the teeth), a mixture of 30 percent hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate is placed into the pulpal chamber for one week, to give your affected teeth a good look.
- Vital bleaching: In cases of normal bleaching, carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are the commonly used bleaching agents. When these are applied in higher concentrations with heat, they produce significant whitening of the teeth. To get the best results, start with an in-office bleach and continue with an at-home bleach under the careful supervision of a dentist.
- In-office Bleach
- The teeth to be bleached are isolated with a rubber dam.
- Hydrogen peroxide (35 percent) is applied. The gel is heated with a particular kind of light for one hour.
- At-home Bleach
- A custom bleaching tray is made for your specific requirement.
- Carbamide peroxide solution (10-15 percent) is applied to your teeth with the help of this tray for a few hours each day, for one week.
- You are to meet with your dentist for a follow-up, after a week.
6 ways to take care of your teeth
- Brush after every meal
- Floss daily
- Limit snacks, particularly those with high sugar content
- Quit smoking or chewing pan
- Examine your mouth regularly
- Visit your dentist every six months
Take care of your teeth and dazzle everyone with your smile!