Teeth Whitening for a Bright and Brilliantly White Smile
As we age, our teeth naturally darken. Additionally the wear and tear of acids and staining foods and drinks can take their tole on a once lustrous smile. One of the most popular ways to enhance your smile and improve your appearance is teeth whitening.
With teeth whitening, we can bleach the enamel to remove discolorations and stains from teeth. Research and clinical studies show that under the supervision of your dentist, chair-side teeth whitening with carbamide peroxide and/or hydrogen peroxide is safe for both teeth and gums. You can choose from in-office whitening, like Boost, for an immediate transformation or take-home kits, which will gradually brighten your smile over a few weeks.
Teeth Stains and What Causes Them
Tooth stains fall into two categories - extrinsic and intrinsic stains. The extrinsic, or external, stains only impact the surface of the teeth. Intrinsic stains are present inside the teeth and are harder to remove than extrinsic stains. Usually, extrinsic stains look yellow or brown, while internal stains are typically gray or blue in color. Extrinsic stains are excellent candidates for teeth whitening. For intrinsic stains, options such a veneers may be a more sustainable solution.
You can develop both extrinsic and intrinsic teeth staining from a variety of causes including:
- Beverages such as coffee, teas, and sodas
- Medication (antibiotic) staining
- Excessive fluoride
- Insufficient oral hygiene
- Nerve degeneration
Consultation for Best Treatment
During your initial visit, Dr. Holloway-Kleidosty will examine your teeth and gums. At that time, she will explain the recommendations and discuss your options. If you choose to begin immediately, you can relax with a warm neck pillow and paraffin hand wax while we remove stains and transform your smile.
FAQs about Teeth Whitening
Below is a list of some of the most common questions we get regarding teeth whitening. As a next step, please schedule a consultation with the Floss team to discuss your options for more brilliant, white teeth.
What are my options for teeth whitening?
With teeth whitening, patients can choose either in-office or at-home whitening. For in-office whitening, such as Boost, we cover your lips and gums before applying a thin coating of gel on your teeth. You can sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite TV show or movie while your smile is becoming beautiful again. In one appointment, you can leave with a brilliant new smile that can be up to 10 shades whiter.
For at-home whitening, we provide you with two options. Custom whitening trays and Opalescence Go trays. For custom whitening trays we will take molds of your teeth and supply you with custom trays as well as professional grade whitening gel. Simply apply a thin layer of gel to the trays and wear them as directed each day. Most patients notice a difference in 3 to 7 days, and the full impact will appear at the end of the whitening time period. Opalescence Go trays are the perfect option for patients looking for a convenient ready-to-go whitening system delivered in prefilled, disposable trays that you only have to wear 15-20 minutes per day. With no impressions, models or lab times, this is a perfect alternative to less-effective over the counter options and is an excellent introduction to whitening.
Does teeth whitening work?
Professional teeth whitening can safely and effectively remove surface stains and renew your smile. Products like Boost, custom whitening trays and Opalescence Go trays can lighten your teeth 10 to 12 shades in no time. Good oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and avoidance of products that stain will keep your smile looking fantastic.
What is the difference between professional teeth whitening and the kits I can by from the drugstore?
Drugstore whitening kits don't have the strength that professional grade whitening provides, so many times, patients won't achieve the results they desire. As well, these whitening kits often irritate gums and soft tissue because they aren't customized to fit your mouth.
What if teeth whitening won't work?
In some cases, especially where deep intrinsic stains exist, teeth whitening may not be the best option. We will review your case and can recommend other alternatives, like porcelain veneers or cosmetic crowns, if teeth whitening doesn't fit your situation.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Many dentists consider teeth bleaching the safest cosmetic procedure available today. With careful supervision, you can lighten your teeth up to 10 shades and take years off your appearance.
What about side effects?
Some patients develop mild sensitivity during or after whitening. Time, sensitivity gels, and toothpaste that alleviates this sensation will help minimize any discomfort you feel.