The primary target of a teeth whitening is the tooth enamel, which results from the natural color combined with the color of the dentin underneath. The reflecting light off the dentin gives you the overall color of your smile. Other defining factors are the smoothness and thickness of the enamel, which is usually the result of inherited genes as well as the overall wear of the enamel over time. Some reasons your smile might not be not so bright may include:
- Poor dental care (not brushing and flossing every single day or not attending your biannual dental visits)
- Natural aging (wear and tear; dentin starts to yellow over time)
- Smoking or tobacco stains
- Dark-colored liquids (coffee, tea, soda, wine)
- Dental trauma (if the dentin is damaged, it can create a darker layer underneath the enamel)
- Medications (certain medications or medical care can cause discoloration or dental damage)
If these sound like reasons you have yellowing teeth, then we can help find the solution to give you a whiter smile. The teeth whitening process is simple; whitening products contain a safe tooth bleach that breaks up stains and targets your tooth enamel. There are three common options:
- Stain Removal Toothpastes: These usually contain mild abrasives and polishing agents, which remove stains on the enamel surface.
- At-Home Teeth Whitening: Our team can provide you with trays for at-home teeth whitening with instructions on how to whiten, for how long and how much solution to place in the trays. You can also purchase an over-the-counter bleaching product, but be sure to discuss options with our team.
- In-Office Teeth Whitening: Typically only requiring one to two visits, chairside bleaching is quickly done. A protective gel or rubber shield protects your gums, and then the bleaching treatment is applied to your teeth.
Before you get teeth whitening, there are a few factors to consider:
- If you have sensitive teeth
- White spots
- Tooth decay
- Infected gums
- Dental work (dental bridges, crowns, veneers, etc.)
- Previous tooth injuries
- Current medications
We invite you to speak to our team about whether you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening. We will work with you to figure out your best options. Of course, one of the best and simplest ways to keep your smile white and bright is to maintain excellent dental care. This includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and seeing your dentist at least twice a year (preferably every 6 months). Also, you should consume healthy, non-staining foods and drinks as much as possible.
To find which teeth whitening option is best for you or to schedule your next dental appointment, please give us a call. We will be happy to schedule a time for you and help you achieve your best smile today!