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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, almost 90% of people get their teeth whitened at some point in their life. Many people are very self-conscious about the color of their teeth. It can affect your self esteem and make you feel extremely self conscious. Most people with this problem do their best to keep their lips tight so people can’t see their teeth.

The Causes of Yellow Teeth

Teeth naturally darken because the soft outer shell of teeth erodes over time. As it thins, more of the yellow dentin beneath it shows through. There are a lot of outside factors that speed up the process of decay. Coffee and wine have chromogens that stain teeth. Smoking and chewing tobacco are extremely bad for your teeth thanks in part to the tar being able to do a lot of damage in a short period of time. Those who have suffered some kind of impact to the mouth may have gone through a reaction that caused more dentin to be released into your mouth. There are also certain medications and procedures that can discolor teeth. Chemotherapy in particular can darken teeth, as can certain blood pressure medicines.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening is a simple, harmless procedure when done under dental supervision. Most whitening gels and products have hydrogen peroxide or other bleaches in them. These gels can shatter stains into pieces and shrink them.

It is important to note that certain types of discoloration can not be fixed by a routine bleaching. In those cases, you might need a veneer. In general, yellowed teeth can be fixed up by bleaching. Bleaching doesn’t have much effect on brown or gray teeth or teeth that have been affected by medications.

Types of Whitening

You should always consult us before you start a whitening regimen. There are three main ways to whiten your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste is said to help improve the appearance of teeth. If you are going to try it, be sure that the product you buy has the ADA seal on it, as those have effective ingredients in them approved by dentists. Most people don’t see much improvement from whitening toothpaste, as it only removes recent stains.

In-Office bleaching, also known as “chairside bleaching,” is a very popular dental procedure that often requires a single visit to the dentist. We will apply gel to protect your gums and then apply the bleaching agent to your teeth. We might use a light or a laser to enhance the effect. Usually you will have to sit there for 20 minutes while the bleach goes to work. The results can be drastic and long-lasting.

At-Home bleaching is sometimes done for patients who have severe yellowing. You would be given a tray fitted for your mouth and possibly some whitening strips. You put gel in the tray and leave it in your mouth for a set period of time. This bleaching gel is not as powerful as the bleach in the dental office, but it does produce good results. In combination with the bleaching done in-office, this procedure usually clears up any problems.

Teeth Whitening Side Effects

There aren’t many side effects when you get your teeth whitened. Some patients find that their teeth are more sensitive after a whitening. This occurs when the peroxide goes through your tooth enamel and touches the dentin inside. The sensitivity doesn’t last very long and it is usually a minor inconvenience.

You should be aware that any long term use of a whitening agent can do permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Always check with us to make sure you get the whitest possible teeth.

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