When it comes to maintaining white teeth, smokers have it especially hard. Smoking causes teeth to become yellow or stained, and can lead to considerable damage over time to your teeth and gums.
If your teeth are stained from smoking, a teeth whitening procedure may restore your pearly whites. Our practice in Albuquerque, NM, can help you achieve the smile you desire. Join us at Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico as we offer the following advice on teeth whitening for smokers.
What Causes Teeth to Yellow from Smoking?
Your teeth, like your skin, are permeable through tiny pores. When smoking, nicotine and tar enter these pores and stay there. By itself, nicotine is colorless, but with oxygen it turns yellow. Vaping can also cause staining due to the nicotine content.
For smokers with bad oral hygiene, staining occurs more quickly. Tartar, or hardened plaque, is already yellow or brown in color. Tar and nicotine will quickly embed in tartar and give it an even more unpleasant brown color.
Home Remedies for Teeth Whitening
There are plenty of options for treating discolored teeth at home. Some products are available at pharmacies and grocery stores.
- Whitening Toothpaste: Usually containing peroxide, brushing with whitening toothpaste can certainly help keep your teeth white and increase effectiveness when combined with professional teeth whitening.
- Whitening Strips: These strips are commonly used to whiten teeth, and can be effective, depending on how discolored your teeth are. However, whitening strips do not offer the same level of whitening as professional treatments.
These are great for maintaining white teeth and do an okay job at bleaching stains, however they are usually not strong enough for smokers’ teeth.
With severe staining, going to a dentist for a professional whitening service may be your best option. At our Albuquerque practice, we use advanced whitening techniques to help you achieve dazzling teeth.
How Long Does Whitening Treatment for Smokers Take?
Smoking-stained teeth can be conquered. The timeline and efficacy of whitening for smokers depends on each person and how badly their teeth are stained. However, each procedure lasts about an hour and a half at most, and results can generally be seen after one visit. Additional whitening sessions are needed to achieve optimal results.
If the stain is too deep, or you simply want a quicker option for whiter teeth, porcelain veneers may be your best bet. These tooth-colored shells will mask the stains and discoloration from view.
How to Prevent Staining
Here are some good ways to reduce stains from smoking and tobacco products. Consider these tips before you undergo professional treatment and after your teeth whitening procedure is complete.
Cut Back on Smoking or Quit Altogether
We understand that quitting smoking is incredibly difficult. However, the benefits to quitting are enormous, and whiter teeth is one of them. Your overall health will improve, and you will have a flashy new smile to show off as well.
Brush and Floss Daily
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for healthy, white teeth. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing at least once a day is critical too, and keeps your gums looking healthy.
Regular Dental Cleanings
While brushing and flossing are a great first step, sometimes a cleaning by your dentist is needed to achieve optimal cleanliness. Regular cleanings also remove plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach places.
Join Us for a Consultation
Are you ready to whiten your teeth and smile proudly? Give us a call at (505) 355-0314 or send us a message online to schedule an appointment at our Albuquerque practice and get the smile you deserve.