A brilliant, attractive smile conveys confidence and vitality. As we age, our teeth naturally darken. One of the most popular ways to enhance your smile and improve your appearance is teeth whitening.
With teeth whitening, we can bleach the enamel to remove discolorations and stains from teeth. Research and clinical studies show that under the supervision of your dentist, chair-side teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide is safe for both teeth and gums. You can choose from in-office whitening, like Zoom!, for an immediate transformation or take-home kits, which will gradually brighten your smile over a few weeks.
Why Teeth Stain
Tooth stains fall into two categories – extrinsic and intrinsic stains. The extrinsic, or external, stains only impact the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic stains are present inside the teeth and are harder to remove than extrinsic stains. Usually, extrinsic stains look yellow or brown, while internal stains are typically gray or blue in color.
You can develop teeth staining from a variety of causes including:
- Beverages such as coffee, teas, and colas
- Medication (antibiotic) staining
- Excessive fluoride
- Insufficient oral hygiene
- Nerve degeneration
Taking the First Step
During your initial visit, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums. At that time, the doctor will explain the recommendations and discuss your options. If you choose to begin immediately, you can relax and listen to music while we remove stains and transform your smile from blah to brilliant.
FAQs about Teeth Whitening
What are my options for teeth whitening?
With teeth whitening, patients can choose either in-office or at-home whitening. For in-office whitening, such as Zoom!, we cover your lips and gums before applying a thin coating of gel on your teeth. Then the paste is activated with a special ultraviolet light. In one appointment, you can leave with a brilliant new smile.
For at-home whitening, we will take molds of your teeth and supply you with custom molds as well as professional grade whitening solution. Simply apply a thin layer of gel to the trays and wear them as directed each day. Most patients notice a difference in 10 to 14 days, and the full impact will appear at the end of the whitening time period.
Does teeth whitening work?
Professional teeth whitening can safely and effectively remove surface stains and renew your smile. Products like Zoom! Whitening and BriteSmile can lighten your teeth 10 to 12 shades in no time. Good oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and avoidance of products that stain will keep your smile looking fantastic.
What is the difference between professional teeth whitening and the kits I can by from the drug store?
Drug store whitening kits don’t have the strength that professional grade whitening provides, so many times, patients won’t achieve the results they desire. As well, these whitening kits often irritate gums and soft tissue because they aren’t customized to fit your mouth.
What if teeth whitening won’t work?
In some cases, especially where deep intrinsic stains exist, teeth whitening may not be the best option. We will review your case and can recommend other alternatives, like porcelain veneers or cosmetic crowns, if teeth whitening doesn’t fit your situation.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Many dentists consider teeth bleaching the safest cosmetic procedure available today. With careful supervision, you can lighten your teeth up to 10 shades and take years off your appearance.
What about side effects?
Some patients develop mild sensitivity after whitening. Time and toothpaste that alleviates this sensation will help minimize any discomfort you feel.