Has coffee, tea, red wine or cola taken its toll on your teeth? Maybe the natural aging process or long-term use of some medications is the culprit. The good news is that you can regain that white smile once again.
There is a wide range of dental products available to today’s consumer to combat discolorations of teeth. They range from whitening toothpastes and adhesive bleaching strips to custom-made bleaching trays and in-office “light-enhanced” bleaching. With all the choices, it certainly can be confusing.
Whitening toothpastes will cause teeth to lighten to some degree. One must be careful with the abrasive nature of some whitening toothpastes. If enough of the tooth’s outer layer is made thin through long-term use of abrasive whitening toothpastes, then the yellow sublayer begins to show through.
In-office, one-day bleaching is a good option for patients who want whiter teeth in an instant. We utilize ZOOM! technology with a quick result with at-home trays to be used for 3 days after treatment.
Another popular method that consistently provides predictable satisfactory results is the at-home method with custom-made whitening trays. First, models of your teeth are made. The dentist makes thin, clear, flexible trays that can comfortably be worn one to two hours a day while the whitening gel is held closely around every curve and corner of your teeth. Most patients arrive at satisfactory results within two weeks. The same trays can be used for a brief touch-up, when needed.
Our teeth can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint. Teeth whitening helps restore teeth to a shiny white color through the use of bleach.
Teeth whitening methods
There are two popular teeth whitening options available through your dentist. The first, in-office teeth whitening, produces a significant color change in your teeth in a short amount of time, usually within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist’s office by applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.
The second method, involves the use of take home whitening kits. These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.
Its best to consult your dentist to understand which whitening option is best for you.