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When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked dental patients what they most want to improve about their smile, the most common answer was teeth whitening. If you are thinking about having your teeth whitened but would like to learn more about it first, here are a few FAQs:

Question: Why are my teeth discolored?

Answer: Possible reasons include:
-What you put in your mouth: Coffee, tea, red wine and dark sodas are all examples of beverages that can stain your teeth if consumed long term. Drugs like tobacco or medications like antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medicine also have staining side effects.
-Medical treatments: Chemotherapy or head or neck radiation treatments might cause teeth staining.
-Age: Your tooth enamel is what makes your teeth look white. As you age, this can rub off, unveiling the yellow dentin underneath.
-Injury: Physical injury can accelerate tooth enamel removal.

Question: How do teeth whiteners brighten my smile?

Answer: All over-the-counter whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which gently bleach your teeth. If you want to try over-the-counter products please use only products with an ADA seal of approval. These are tested for safety and effectiveness. Over-the-counter products often take weeks to show any visible effects. If you are looking for a faster, more effective method, ask Shoals Smile by Design about our chairside bleaching.

Question: Does whitening work on all stains?

Answer: Dr. Jamine Rogers can give you the most expert advice about this, but here are a few guidelines:
-Yellow stains respond well to bleach treatments, but brown and gray shades typically don’t.
-Veneers, crowns and fillings are made from materials that cannot be bleached.
-Discoloration caused by medications or injuries are impervious to bleaching.

Do you have other questions? Call Shoals Smile by Design in Muscle Shoals, Alabama at 256-314-0676. We’ll you’re your smile sparkle.