Do you ever feel like your nice, white smile left you some time ago? Or perhaps you never had it? Teeth whitening can change that, and we can tell you what, and what not, to do to give you that white smile you’re after.
The Nutshell Version:
Our teeth stain with age, trauma, and the food and drink we consume. To get rid of the stain, you need to get your regular professional cleanings and look at the three options for whitening, professional power bleaching, custom take-home trays, and over the counter systems. No matter what option you feel is right for you, we can help guide you to make sure you use it in a safe and effective way.
- Time: about an hour
- Safety: all your gums are isolated for their protection
- Results: up to 8 shades of improvement
Custom Take-Home Trays
- Time: 1-2 weeks
- Safety: your trays are custom-fitted with reservoirs for the whitening gel and are safe when used as directed.
- Results: up to 8 shades when used as directed
- Time: 1-2 weeks
- Safety: as over-the-counter products, you are responsible for their safe application. They are known to be safe when used as directed.
- Results: up to 3 shades when used as directed
The Detailed Version:
First, understand that teeth discolor from both the inside and the outside. Inside factors relate to trauma and aging. Trauma may have happened when your tooth was developing or due to a fall or impact. While trauma may not have caused your tooth to die, your tooth will respond to the injury, and the response causes the tooth to darken. That same darkening process occurs with aging.
Outside factors that cause your teeth to change in color are foods and drinks. Some examples are the carotenes in oranges, carrots, and chewing tobacco or tannins in dark soda drinks like Pepsi or Coke, tea, coffe, and red wines. The stronger the color, the more likely it will cause stain over time.
So how do we fix it? First, we’re going to clean your teeth and make sure your teeth are in good health so ther will be no unexpected side effects and we identify any teeth that will not whiten due to previous dental work. Then we’ll consider the three options outlined previously as well as internal bleaching if any of your front teeth have darkened due to a root canal. What’s right for you depends on how much of a change you want to see and how quickly you want to see it. None of them last forever, so we’ll talk to you about the type of touch-up you can expect to need depending on how you choose to whiten.
Last to note is that all whitening methods have side effects. While whitening is safe and won’t harm your teeth when performed as recommended, your teeth will most likely feel sensitive after you’ve whitened. The sensitivity you experience can range from mild to severe, which is why it’s best to let us help you so we can help minimize the sensitivity.
Want To Know More?
Check out the following articles that we’ve reviewed and know provide credible and helpful information:
Prevention article: “Are You Obsessed with Whiter Teeth?”
Dear Doctor article: “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips”