Teeth Whitening 101: All You Need to Know Before Getting It
Healthy teeth have an attractive off-white shade. However, because of our lifestyle choices, the teeth can discolor and change the shade.
Discolored teeth are unattractive and make smiling a challenge for some. But more than that, having yellow or brown teeth can give an assumption that you have poor dental health. Fortunately, we have a solution that can help remove the stains and brighten up your smile.
What Makes the Teeth to Discolor?
Before you come for your teeth whitening in Bellaire, TX, it is important to know what makes your teeth yellow in the first place. Teeth discoloration can be either extrinsic or intrinsic.
Extrinsic stains are factors that affect the outer part of the teeth, the enamel. The intrinsic stains affect the inside of the teeth. The different causes of teeth whitening include:
- Food and beverages. Drinks like coffee, tea, wine, and certain fruits like apples.
- Poor dental hygiene. Not brushing and flossing every day can lead to the accumulation of plaques on the teeth, which has a yellow pigment. Also, not having professional dental cleaning often can cause plaque buildup.
- Diseases. Certain diseases can affect both the enamel and dentine (the inner layer of the teeth, which give them their color). Also, treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can affect the shade of the teeth.
- Medication. Drugs like antibiotics and medications for high blood pressure are known to cause teeth discoloration.
- Excessive use of fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities. However, using it in excess can lead to fluorosis, which causes browning of the teeth.
- Age. As we age, the enamel begins to wear away, exposing the dentin (it’s brown or yellow).
- Genes. Some people have thicker enamel than others. The thinner the enamel, the more exposed the dentin is.
How is Teeth Whitening Done?
The procedure of teeth whitening will depend on the treatment option you choose. Several options are available:
- In-office teeth whitening
The professional teeth whitening is done at the dental office. The teeth whitening solution used usually contains a higher amount of hydrogen peroxide than the rest. However, the dentist will apply a protective solution on the gums to shield them from bruising. That is why we recommend the in-office teeth whitening.
The procedure lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. The dentist will apply the whitening agent on the teeth and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing. This process can be repeated three times depending on the severity of the discoloration.
- Cosmetic whitening products
These include products like toothpaste, mouth rinse, and stripes that contain the whitening agent. The cosmetic teeth whitening products are readily available, but they are not usually the best. This is because they either have too much or too little whitening agents that may affect the quality of results you get. Plus, they can damage the gums and cause gum bruising.
If you want the take-home whitening kits, you can speak to our dentist for the customized teeth whitening kits. These are designed to fit your teeth shape and are gentle on the gums.
- Home remedies
Several home remedies for white teeth exist like activated charcoal and baking soda. These remedies are used to remove stains, but their effectiveness is still debated. Baking soda can remove mild stains. However, it is harsh and can damage the enamel, causing it to become weak and prone to decay.
Other remedies include rubbing lemon on the teeth. Lemon is an acid, and it does not mix well with your enamel. Applying lemon on your teeth may end up causing yellow stains and worsen the situation.
Other teeth whitening like Zoom! Teeth whitening treatment is also available. But, first, speak to a dentist about your options before getting the teeth whitening near you.
How Long Does the Teeth Whitening Results Last?
The teeth whitening results are not permanent and are affected by factors like age and lifestyle. It is crucial to consult the dentist on the frequency of getting the whitening procedure done to keep your teeth white.
Visit Salinas Dental Group for more information about the teeth whitening treatment process and the risk involved.