If you’re looking for a quick, non-invasive way to enhance your smile, teeth whitening can help you achieve your perfect smile. As there are different causes of tooth discoloration, talk with Dr. Fotinos about different teeth whitening options and which will be the best to improve your smile.
Home Teeth Whitening
What Causes Teeth to Become Discolored?
Teeth can become discolored for different reasons, but perhaps the most common causes are related to foods and beverages, like coffee, tea, red wine, berries and deep-colored spices, as well as foods and drinks with artificial colors. Tobacco can also cause significant staining, especially in the front teeth. Other causes include long-term use of some medications, diseases, and poor oral hygiene habits. Foods that are high in acids, like citrus fruits and sodas, can soften tooth surfaces, so it becomes easier for foods to stain teeth. Some people are more prone to developing stains than others. In a nutshell, 2 factors. Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains. Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint.
How Does Teeth Bleaching Work?
Teeth bleaching uses appropriate solutions to whiten more superficial layers of teeth, removing stains and helping return teeth to their natural whiteness and brightness. Professional teeth whitening uses products designed specifically for use under a dentist’s supervision, and treatments can be performed in the office using a particular technology or with take-home kits using custom trays to help the teeth whitening agents penetrate more deeply and more consistently for better results. In-office whitening has the advantage of being able to be completed quickly in just one visit – typically in about an hour. Take-home kits take about ten days to achieve maximum results. Many patients use take-home kits in between professional teeth bleaching appointments to maintain results.
Is Professional Teeth Whitening Better Than Products I Can Buy in the Drugstore?
Absolutely. Professional teeth bleaching uses stronger solutions designed for use by a dentist, and the take home kits feature trays that are molded to each patient’s mouth shape so the solution is dispersed more evenly and results are more consistent compared to off-the-shelf kits. Plus, having teeth professionally whitened ensures tiny imperfections like chips and cracks can be repaired before treatment to reduce the risk of temporary tooth sensitivity. The bleaching gel is suctioned or washed off, and the fresh gel is applied for one or more additional periods of 15 to 30 minutes. Some whitening treatments incorporate an intense light that is focused on the teeth and is said to activate or enhance the bleaching process.