A dazzling smile is a universal symbol of confidence and beauty. If you long for a brighter, whiter smile, teeth whitening might be your solution. Whether you want a new smile for a new school year or a social event, talk to your dentist about tooth whitening.
The Culprits Behind Stained Teeth
Over time, your teeth can become stained or discolored due to various factors. Knowing these factors can also help reduce tooth staining. Additionally, you can lengthen the brightness of your whitening treatment.
Extrinsic Stains: These occur on the outer surface of the teeth. Typically, your diet and lifestyle habits create these types of stains. For example, dark-colored foods and drinks can leave behind stains. Also, smoking or poor oral hygiene habits can yellow your teeth.
Intrinsic Stains: These stains develop within the tooth structure. For example, aging, some medications, and dental trauma can create deep tooth stains. Intrinsic stains are also difficult to remove with chemical whitening. You may need to talk to your dentist about veneers or bonding.
Age-Related Wear: As we age, the outer layer of enamel on our teeth naturally wears down. This can reveal the yellowish dentin beneath, which can contribute to a dull appearance.
Before embarking on a teeth whitening journey, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional. They will evaluate your oral health and assess the type and extent of staining. Then, they will suggest the most appropriate method for you.
Professional In-Office Teeth Whitening
In-office teeth whitening, also known as chairside whitening, is a popular and effective method to achieve quick and noticeable results.
Dental Exam: Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, ensuring no underlying oral health issues could interfere with the whitening process.
Preparation: Your team will place a barrier or dental dam around your teeth to protect your gums and soft tissues. This shield prevents the whitening gel from coming into contact with sensitive areas.
Application of Gel: Your dentist will apply a powerful bleaching gel to the surface of your teeth. The gel works to break down stains to reveal a whiter smile.
Activation: In some cases, a light or laser may activate the gel, enhancing its effectiveness.
Multiple Sessions: Depending on the level of stains, the process may involve several 15 to 20-minute sessions. Between sessions, your dentist may also reapply the gel to ensure maximum whitening.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Options
If in-office whitening is not your choice, your dentist may provide you with at-home teeth whitening options. Furthermore, these involve trays and whitening gel that you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Impressions: Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create customized trays that fit snugly over your teeth.
Instructions and Guidance: You’ll be provided with clear instructions on how to apply the gel to the trays and how long to wear them each day. Your dentist will also guide you on the duration of the treatment and any potential side effects to watch out for.
Regular Check-ins: During the treatment period, you’ll have follow-up appointments with your dentist to monitor progress and make any changes.