Teeth whitening: Is it really possible to have a brighter smile?
Dental whitening is one of the easiest ways to give your smile a new, brighter look. In a single trip to the dentist, you can lighten your teeth five to ten shades, removing discoloration that has built up as a result of the foods and beverages you eat every day.
How Teeth Whitening Brightens Your Smile
In-office teeth whitening, performed by your dentist, uses a professional-strength bleaching agent to remove stains on the tooth surfaces. Your dentist places a protective gel on your gums and uses a plastic appliance to protect your tongue while he places the bleaching agent on your teeth. Some whitening procedures use a special light to activate the bleach for optimal results.
The whitening agent is left on your teeth for about twenty minutes, then removed and re-applied. After the third application, your teeth will look much whiter. Over the next few days, they’ll become even whiter, until you can see the full effects of the treatment. With occasional touch-up treatments, your teeth will remain much whiter and brighter.
How to Keep Your Teeth White
In order to maintain your new, bright, white smile, you should brush and floss regularly and avoid foods, beverages, and habits that can discolor your teeth. These include:
- Dark fruit juices
Using a whitening toothpaste can also help gently remove the stains from your teeth. Talk to your dentist about other ways to keep your teeth white, clean, and healthy.
Some forms of discoloration are difficult to treat with whitening treatment. This is called intrinsic staining, and is an abnormal color that is part of the tooth structure. This is most often caused by exposure to certain antibiotics or to excess fluoride while your teeth were developing, and can be corrected with porcelain veneers. Teeth can also turn dark brown or black if the internal pulp is damaged. If you see this type of discoloration, you should talk to your dentist, since this could indicate an infection inside your tooth.
Contact our office today to discuss your whitening options!