How Tooth Enamel Gets Stained – And How to Correct It

You brush your teeth twice a day, and may even use whitening products—so why don’t your teeth look as white as you’d like? Our teeth may feel as solid and impermeable as a marble counter-top, but the truth is that tooth enamel is absorbent. Eating dark colored foods and drinks leaves pigment stains deep in the structure of your enamel. Sometimes it takes more than over-the-counter products to remove those stains.

Are your teeth looking darker than you would like? Dr. Jack Haney provides Knoxville teeth whitening treatments in his family dental practice. Call us today at 865-693-6886 or make an appointment online.

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that any food or drink that can stain natural fiber clothing (cotton, linen) can also stain your tooth enamel? If you want to see the impact of your diet on the color of your tooth enamel, try taking a little bit of everything you eat and put it on a white cloth napkin. Every cup of coffee, every iced tea, every glass of wine, every mouthful of blueberries, and every spaghetti and meatballs. You know those stains don’t always come out of your clothing; tooth enamel is the same way. You can remove a lot of the stain by cleaning it promptly, but it often leaves a mark, despite your best efforts.

You can help prevent staining with creative eating/drinking habits (drink through a straw, eat cheese before you drink wine, etc.), but sometimes that can ruin the fun of enjoying your food. Whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter whitening products can help you remove pigment residues from your enamel, but they are famously unreliable. Only whitening treatments from your dentist have prescription-strength whiteners that retain their chemical integrity (whitening power) predictably. If you want to remove the pigment stains that have accumulated in your tooth enamel, the fastest and safest solution is with Knoxville tooth whitening from your dentist.


How Store-Bought Whiteners Can Be Harmful

Overall, store-bought whitening products are very safe when used as directed. The problem is that they don’t always work well, and this can lead patients to use them more than recommended. If you don’t get noticeable results right away, you may find yourself using the products longer than the prescribed period of time, and this can hurt your enamel.

All whiteners use the same ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, to pull oxygen bubbles into the surface of the teeth, which breaks down pigment stains. This, in itself, does not harm your teeth, but prolonged use can leach minerals from the teeth before your enamel has the time to re-mineralize itself through natural processes. When you use stronger whitening products from a dentist’s office, you get faster and better results with fewer applications.

Knoxville Teeth Whitening with Dr. Jack Haney

Dr. Jack Haney provides two types of teeth whitening treatments: in-office whitening and take-home whitening. The in-office option can dramatically lighten the color of your teeth by using a special UV light to activate the whitening ingredients. In-office treatments like Zoom™ Opalescence™ can lighten your teeth up to eight shades in a single day.

The take-home option uses equally powerful whitening ingredients, but shows results gradually over a period of weeks. This method works better than store bought whitening trays or strips because we create a customized set of whitening trays to fit your teeth like a glove. This ensures the ingredients stay in contact with the teeth longer and do not migrate to the gums or become diluted by saliva.

If you are ready to remove years of pigment stains from your teeth, contact us today. Call 865-693-6886 or make an appointment online for Knoxville teeth whitening.

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