Is a special occasion approaching so you want your smile to be its brightest?
Whatever the reason, Tooth Whitening isn’t just for the movie stars, and it isn’t just for one day. Many people today have their teeth whitened. The desire for a brighter smile with whiter teeth is a common concern. Tooth Whitening safely lightens the color of your teeth giving your smile a youthful, stunning appearance.
- What causes tooth discoloration?
- Is tooth whitening for you?
- What’s involved in tooth whitening?
- How long does tooth whitening last?
- How does tooth whitening work?
- Is tooth whitening safe? Any side effects?
- What results can I expect?
- What occasions do people whiten their teeth for?
As we grow older, our adult teeth gradually become darker, mainly due to changes in the mineral structure and composition of teeth. Your teeth can also become stained by eating certain kinds of foods like berries, beets and candy. Certain beverages can also cause tooth discoloration: soda, cola, coffee, tea and red wine. Tobacco products, both cigarettes and chewing tobacco cause tooth discoloration.
Generally, whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider Tooth Whitening if your teeth are darkened from age, beverages or smoking. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, whitening may be discouraged until these other problems are resolved.
First, an examination will determine whether you are a candidate for Tooth Whitening and what type of whitening system will provide the best results for your teeth.
If you’re in a hurry for whiter teeth, you may decide to have your teeth lightened immediately in our office. Our office offers either an in-office whitening procedure while you sit in the dental chair. Many patients alternatively choose dentist-supervised at-home whitening, which is more economical and can provide similar results.
If you choose at-home whitening impressions will be made of your teeth to fabricate whitening tray appliances for you. The trays are custom made it fit your mouth exactly. They are lightweight so that it can be worn comfortably while you are awake or sleeping. The whitening trays are so thin you should even be able to talk and work while wearing your trays. Along with the whitening tray appliances, you’ll receive the whitening gel material and given instructions on how to apply the gel and wear the trays.
Some systems recommend whitening your teeth from two to four hours a day. Generally this type of system requires three to six weeks to complete, and works best on patients with sensitive teeth. Other systems recommend whitening at night while you sleep. This type of system usually requires only 10-14 days.
Whitening should last from one to five years, depending on your personal habits such as smoking and drinking coffee or tea. At this point you may choose to get a touch up. This procedure may not be as costly because you can use the same whitening trays. Re-whitening takes less time than the original treatment.
The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents is 10 percent carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2), also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth.
Several studies have proven whitening to be safe and effective, and the American Dental Association has granted its seal of approval to many popular teeth whitening products. Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends.
No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different, but typically there is a two-shade improvement as seen on a shade guide. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your adherence to the prescribed regimen. Whitening does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicone, or porcelains restoration.
People can whiten their teeth for any occasion but some of the most popular occasions are: photographs, media appearances, job interviews, reunions, weddings, graduations, proms, homecoming—or for just for a boost in self-confidence.