A bright, white smile can make a great first impression, but not if your teeth are discolored and stained. Most stains are typically acquired from eating and drinking certain foods and certain bad habits. Whatever the cause of discoloration may be, your cosmetic dentist can help transform your smile. A dentist-supervised teeth whitening treatment can remove years of staining in about an hour.
How Do Teeth Get Stained?
Your teeth have pores, just like your skin. Eating and drinking will slowly discolor your teeth as the pigmented food and drink come into contact with those pores. Certain foods and drinks will cause more staining than others. The worst food and drink offenders include:
- Red Wine
- Tomato Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
Teeth whiteners use a highly concentrated peroxide gel that soaks into the pores of your teeth. The peroxide works by breaking down the chemical bonds of the stains. This action can brighten your teeth in several shades.
Whitening is the #1 cosmetic dentistry procedure in the United States. It addresses discolored teeth by lifting stains. This cosmetic treatment can significantly improve your appearance.
What Should I Do to Prepare for Teeth Whitening?
Before treatment, it is crucial to establish a good dental hygiene regimen. Your dentist will determine if there is any treatment needed before whitening. Teeth whitening will not be successful if tooth decay or other more extensive issues are present. A professional dental cleaning will remove the build-up of food particles, plaque, and tartar that could interfere with the successful outcome of the treatment.
After your dental exam, additional preparation for whitening treatment can include photographs taken of your teeth. Your dentist will use these photos to compare yours before and after smile.
The Teeth Whitening Process
The treatment begins with your dentist isolating your smile with cheek retractors. Next, teeth are rinsed and dried before placing a gingival barrier along the entire gum line on top and bottom. This initial step protects the gum tissues and prevents irritation, and it ensures the bleaching gel will coat only the areas of your teeth desired.
Once prepared, your dentist will place the gel on each tooth. A special curing light or laser will activate the peroxide to achieve the desired shade. After approximately 15 minutes, the peroxide gel is rinsed off, the teeth are dried, and the process is repeated. When the desired shade is reached, your dentist will rinse your teeth a final time, and fluoride will be applied to limit tooth sensitivity.
The average patient will repeat this whitening cycle 3-4 times, but for those with extensive staining, you can repeat the process up to six times.
What are the Teeth Whitening Benefits?
Dentist-supervised teeth whitening is a convenient, painless, and lasting solution to discolored teeth. Following the first whitening procedure, You can perform touch-ups periodically to maintain your new smile. A whiter smile can instill positive changes in self-confidence and allow you to make a great first impression.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dentist Supervised Teeth Whitening
Dentist supervised teeth whitening treatment can provide maximum whitening in a short amount of time. Many patients find it a convenient addition to a routine dental appointment. The procedure typically takes about an hour, depending on the amount of whitening needed. Your dentist can provide customized whitening trays and gel to maintain your bright smile at home.
The whitening gel you get at the dentist’s office is a professional strength with powerful hydrogen peroxide. Many whitening gels also contain potassium nitrate and fluoride to reduce the sensitivity of teeth, strengthen enamel, and prevent tooth decay.