This article was originally published by colgate.com

“Maybe you’ve always wanted a beautiful white smile. Or your teeth have yellowed over time. Or you’re not happy with the staining that results from drinking coffee, tea or cola. Whatever your reason for wanting whiter teeth, you’re not alone.

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different tooth color. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors.

Surface stains and internal discoloration can be caused by:

  • The natural aging process
  • Using tobacco (smoked or chewed), drinking coffee, tea,
    colas or red wine, and eating pigmented foods such as
    cherries and blueberries
  • Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
  • Ingesting too much fluoride (more than 2 parts fluoride per million
    parts water) when teeth are forming, which gives teeth a “mottled” look
  • Treatment with the antibiotic tetracycline during childhood
  • Trauma to the teeth that may cause a brown, gray or black color

There are many reasons for whitening your teeth, including:

  • The boost to your confidence and self-esteem that comes from a great smile
  • A younger appearance
  • A special event such as a wedding, job interview or class reunion
  • To make a positive first impression on others
  • To simply reverse years of everyday staining and yellowing

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment.”

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