Teeth Whitening Info
Teeth Whitening, different options.
Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in the last decade or so, and one of the quickest and cheapest cosmetic options out there is the old go-to…teeth whitening. Just think about that for a moment, of all of the cosmetic procedures that are out there (veneers, braces, Invisalign, bonding, etc.), teeth whitening offers one of the quickest routes to a healthier, brighter smile than anything else. I’m sure you have seen some people who may have smiled your way, and some of those people’s teeth probably have stood out as…not being that bright because of discoloration or staining.
The AACD actually surveyed quite a few adults and got not-so-surprising results regarding whiter and brighter teeth: “…when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was: Whiter & brighter teeth.” Link to article from the AACD. Now, obviously, a teeth whitening will help you achieve the “whiter and brighter” teeth that you may want.
There are a few different options when it comes to teeth whitening, luckily. I’ll go into them briefly:
Home Kits: Home kits are a simple, effective method of getting your teeth whiter. You can find them in stores or through your dentist. They are usually in strip form (meaning, the teeth whitening agent is usually spread along a strip that you put along your teeth), and there are several different brands to choose from. When I look at getting a home whitening kit, one thing I usually pay close attention to is the potency of the whitening agent. For instance, in our office we have a take-home kit that provides you with a 15% hydrogen peroxide solution for whitening your teeth. This may not seem like much until you take into account that hydrogen peroxide that you get from the store is something like 3%. That is the main ingredient that’s in a lot of whitening products. Obviously you don’t want a whitening agent that will harm you, that is not what teeth whitening should come to. The higher the concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the more dangerous it gets. That’s why after a certain percentage, you can only get the peroxide solution applied by a trained professional in, say, our dental office. Which leads me to my next one…
In-Office Whitening: In-office Whitening is a more advanced form of teeth whitening procedure. As the name states, you would do it in a dental office, supervised and delivered by trained professionals. Individuals who are trained to handle the higher concentrations of whitening agents. The doctor, hygienist or whoever is doing the in-office treatment, usually applies a protective barrier to your gums that will prevent your gums from getting damaged. The efficacy of in-office whitening was displayed to me first-hand, as I too have received it, and know it works quite well. In fact I’ve seen anywhere from 2-3 shades whiter, all the way up to 5-6 or more! Usually with in-office whitening more than one application of the whitening agent is done, in order to achieve a higher result. There is another type of in-office whitening solution for staining as well…
Opalustre: This is a fairly new system of whitening that is done in a dental office. It is geared towards those with stubborn staining, or chalky white areas on the surfaces of their teeth. We do deliver it here at our office. With this form of teeth whitening, the doctor would actually remove the stain using a special type of polishing technique. I’ve seen the results and they are amazing for those hard-to-remove stains and tooth blemishes.
How did you get those stains anyway?
There are quite a few reasons teeth can become stained. Some of the main reasons teeth become darkened are genetics (darker teeth may run in your family), antibiotics, and also certain foods play a roll. Teeth also just tend to get darker as we all age. There are also internal causes of tooth discoloration. These come about by changes in the enamel or the dentin. The main reasons for this range from exposure to high levels of fluoride to trauma of the teeth. The external factors can come from things like smoking, use of other tobacco products (dipping, chewing etc.), and different types of food. In fact, if you can think of a food that would stain your white carpet, chances are that same food or drink can stain your teeth.
This dental office as well as many others can help you resolve staining on your teeth. Come in for a consult to see what a good option would be for you!
Stay healthy my friends.