How to Get A Whiter, Brighter Smile That People Love
Who doesn’t want a white healthy smile? Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to be born with beautiful, sparkling white teeth. Stains and discolorations are a common problem in dentistry. It’s no wonder why whitening is so popular. Regular checks ups and cleanings may ward off most discolorations, but some problems are beyond your control. Even the simple process of aging may produce stains. However, most stains are caused by environment factors such as smoking and drinking coffee. Luckily, most stains and discolorations may be removed through safe, effective whitening procedures.
Proper Oral Hygiene and Good Habits Help
You can avoid the need for whitening by preventing stains and discoloration to begin with. Daily brushing and flossing can help avoid most stains. You should also visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning. Another way to prevent stains is to avoid drinks that contain heavy dyes such as red wine, coffee, and soda drinks. Refraining from smoking tobacco is also recommended. Not only is cigarette smoking a health hazard, but it may also permanently stain your teeth
Who is a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Although teeth whitening may be a very effective tool for whitening teeth, it is not recommended for everyone. Before using any tooth whitening product, you should consult your dentist to determine the safety of its use on your teeth. Unhealthy or compromised teeth should not be exposed to teeth whitening chemicals even in mild concentrations.
Teeth with the following conditions should not have teeth whitening preformed on them:
- Tooth decay
- White spots on the teeth
- Infection of the gums
- Discolored teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Certain types of dental work, including crowns and bridges
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening is a process by which Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide peroxide is layered over the tooth and allowed to penetrate the enamel. A chemical reaction then works to bleach stains below. In office teeth whitening accelerates this process through the use of special lights.
Teeth Whitening Options
- Over the Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Kits are easy to use however they are less effective and more time consuming then in office procedures. You should not use a kit without consulting with your dentist first. You may need to repeat the procedure and expose your teeth to harsh chemical multiple times to achieve the results you want. This may be detrimental to the health of your teeth.
- Take-Home Kits from Your Dentist
These kits are similar to the ones purchased over the counter but contain much stronger chemicals that produce quicker and more effective results. The advantage of using a kit from your dentist rather than one from the drugstore is that you may rest assured that your dentist has approved it and will supervise your treatment.
- In-Office Teeth Whitening
Most people prefer this method because of the minimal time involved (approximately 45 minutes), dramatic results and the comfort of having it performed in a professional setting. The procedure is performed by having a dental assistant covering your gums and lips with a protective barrier and then layering your teeth with the whitening gel. An ultraviolet light will then by directed towards your teeth. Additional gel will by placed over your teeth during the procedure. Once the procedure is completed, you can expect your teeth to be five to 10 shades lighter.