- On November 26, 2019
A white smile instantly gives the impression of youth, health, and confidence. Unfortunately, not everyone has naturally white teeth. Even if you were one of the lucky ones graced with white teeth, staining and fading naturally occur over the years. Teeth whitening an easy way to rejuvenate your look and, when performed in a professionally supervised dental office, it can be safe, easy and cost-effective when compared to other options.
What Makes Teeth Look Dull or Less White?
The enamel is the hard outer shell that surrounds the exposed part of the tooth. It is the part that can look beautifully shiny and bright or stained and dull. If the enamel is damaged, yellowed or dark, it can be aging. There can be many reasons for teeth to look stained.
Some people may have been exposed to medications at a young age that could affect the color of the enamel. Some antibiotics and anti-bacterial treatments may change the color of teeth. They can cause anything from yellow to gray and even bluish or greenish hues. A typical darkening at the gumline is usually an indicator that the person took antibiotics when they were young.
Staining can occur as a result of eating or drinking acidic or dark food or drinks. Wine, tea and coffee are all notorious for staining, as are tomato sauces, beets, berries, and soy sauce. Using abrasive cleaning methods like brushing hard with stiff toothbrushes can etch the enamel, leaving it more prone to staining.
Finally, tooth decay can cause teeth to look dark. Cavities and root damage are a couple of examples that can darken the look of teeth. Tooth decay is not something that affects only the enamel, however, so it cannot be reversed with whitening products.
What to Consider Before Whitening
First, you should have a dental exam to rule out problems with your oral health. Healthy teeth and gums should respond well to lightening and whitening methods. Minor cracks in the enamel could cause bleaching solution to leak into the dentin below, which could be painful. Ruling out any potential issues ahead of time will make your experience a pleasant one.
Another reason you should visit your dentist before whitening methods is to set expectations. No two people have the same color teeth, and not everyone will end up with a blinding white smile. Talk over your expectations with your dental professional so that you have realistic expectations. Your dentist can also suggest the best method to meet your needs and desired results.
Methods of Professional Whitening
Professional whitening can change the color of teeth by many shades. While over-the-counter methods only contain up to 20% peroxide, professional teeth whitening treatments contain up to 43% peroxide. It is much faster, more effective and can be less expensive overall than over-the-counter methods. It is also safer than OTC products, as incorrect use can cause gum or tooth irritation and possible damage.
Zoom Whitening is a quick and safe in-office treatment. After cleaning, a powerful whitening gel is applied to teeth. Then a light is used to activate the agent. The result is a whiter smile in only minutes.
Day White is an at-home treatment that must be applied twice a day for up to two weeks. The gel is put into trays that fit over the teeth. It must be left one the teeth for 15 minutes per treatment.
Night White is an overnight treatment that contains a milder bleaching agent since it is meant to be left on for a longer period. A whitening gel is placed into trays before bed and left on all night. Night White is a good option for those who don’t have time twice per day to use Day White.
Contact All Smiles Dentistry for an Appointment Today!
If you would like to whiten your teeth, see our experienced dental professionals at All Smiles Dentistry.