Reclaim Your Pearly Whites with Teeth Whitening
Understanding the cause of tooth discoloration is crucial in determining the most appropriate whitening treatment for you. Stains can be caused by a variety of factors, including dietary habits high in coffee, wine, or other staining agents, smoking, or certain medications. If you identify with any of these factors, teeth whitening can greatly benefit you.
If yellow or stained teeth are keeping you from looking and feeling your best, teeth whitening is the solution for you. It’s a safe and quick procedure that whitens your teeth giving you a brighter and more confident smile in little to no time.
First, a determination must be made as to why your teeth are yellow/gray. Is it due to a diet high in coffee, wine or other naturally staining agents? Is it because you are a smoker? Or maybe it is due to a medication you are taking? If you think you fall into one of the above categories, teeth whitening could do you a great benefit.
Now, the other, less talked about reason for yellow teeth is wear of the outer white layer of teeth. Since teeth are composed of a white outer enamel layer and an inner yellow dentin layer, if the white layer becomes thinner then the naturally yellow inside will be more visible. This second type of yellow teeth cannot be whitened since the color is not due to a stain. However, more often than not, yellow teeth are in fact due to staining so keep on reading to learn how a dentist near you can help you navigate the many options available to make your teeth pearly white.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening, also known as bleaching, is a simple process in which chemical agents are used to break and lift stains from the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel. This makes your teeth whiter and brighter. There are several methods through which to do teeth whitening, depending on the severity. The two main forms are in-office and at-home whitening.
If our dentist near you at Prestige Dental Care decides that an in-office procedure is best for your particular type of stain, he or she will discuss this with you in detail. In-office whitening can follow one of 2 methods:
- Vital Whitening
- Non-Vital Whitening
Vital bleaching is when a chemical agent, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, is applied on the teeth, thus penetrating some distance into the tooth and actively lifting stains off the surface. During this in-office whitening, your dentist will protect your gums with a special painted-on, temporary barrier so your gingiva is not irritated.
Nonetheless, some mild and temporary irritation can occur or some of your gums may attain a white hue for a few short hours. The second procedure, called non-vital whitening, is needed if your tooth is discolored from the inside, or center, of the tooth. This usually occurs when the tooth has had a root canal and no crown was placed or when trauma or an accident has made the tooth die. Usually teeth in this category can attain a pink-ish hue (due mainly to blood pigments) or very yellow/dark grey.
To whiten these teeth, the inside of the tooth has to be accessed and a special solution placed so that the stains can be lifted from the inside of the tooth. Usually, your dentist will have to repeat this procedure several times a few weeks apart in order to gradually lighten the tooth shade. Both of the above mentioned procedures may need more than one application to attain the desired results, so make sure to ask your caring dentist in Lake Worth the predicted timeline for each.
The second form of bleaching is at-home whitening. Traditionally, your dentist would fabricate transparent trays to fit your teeth. To these, a special gel containing one of the two already mentioned chemicals, namely hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, would be applied. More recently, pre-made trays have gained popularity since the tray and gel are already integrated into one product and you don’t have to guess how much gel to apply. Make sure to ask our dentist at Lake Worth at Prestige Dental Care which method they prefer for your particular situation. The length of wear of either of these depends on the strength of the chemical.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth. Its specialized whitening agents interact with enamel proteins removing stains that are in the outer layers of the tooth. If your teeth are stained from tobacco, coffee or food or have yellowed with age, tooth whitening may restore their natural whiteness.
It is important to keep in mind that tooth whitening will not change the color of fillings or crowns. It is also important to note that since stains are being removed, some people may experience slight sensitivity. In order to minimize this, make sure to use a sensitivity toothpaste, such as Sensodyne or any other that has the word “sensitivity” in the packaging. If the sensitivity persists even while using the toothpaste, just stop for a week or two and then start again. You will get good results either way. Feel free to ask us, your Lake Worth dentist, if whitening is right for you.
How Do I Keep My Teeth White?
It is important to know that after teeth are whitened, you follow these recommendations in order to keep a beautiful smile:
- Avoid consuming drinks and foods that tend to stain teeth such as coffee, tea, and red wine. If you find that impossible to do, the recommendation is to consume them through a straw so that they make as little contact as possible with your teeth.
- Avoid smoking. Not only is smoking bad for your systemic health, but it significantly increases tooth staining in the outer layers of teeth enamel.
- Visit us regularly for check ups and dental cleanings. Maintaining your teeth free of tartar and plaque is important in order to keep them white and healthy.
Remember that whitening may need touch ups every few years, or sooner if the above mentioned habits are not put in check. Please also note that there is another type of staining called “Tetracycline staining”. This more complex type of stain occurs due to taking the medication Tetracycline while in the womb or at a very young age. While this form of staining is very hard to remove, there are several methods that can be employed to help you achieve your desired smile. Ask us, your caring dentist in Lake Worth, how we can help you attain the smile of your dreams!
Book Your Teeth Whitening Consultation at Prestige Dental Care
At Prestige Dental Care, we are committed to providing exceptional teeth whitening services tailored to your unique needs. Contact us today at (561) 965-3933 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a brighter, more confident smile.