A brighter smile makes you feel good about yourself. Unfortunately, your teeth can get discolored or stained over time due to certain medications, tooth decay, natural aging, dental trauma, poor dental hygiene, smoking, and regular consumption of highly colored food items. Fortunately, you don’t have to hide or feel self-conscious about your smile anymore due to teeth stains.
Teeth whitening is a popular way to whiten stained or discolored teeth. However, with so many myths around the topic of teeth whitening, you might be confused as to whether the treatment is safe or effective.
When done correctly, teeth whitening is safe and can give you the smile of your dreams. This article outlines the different types of teeth whitening options that you can use to whiten your smile.
Before getting to the whitening treatments, it’s worth noting that there are two types of teeth stains. These stains respond to teeth whitening differently. They include:
Extrinsic discoloration are external stains that affect the outer layer of teeth. These stains generally come from external factors like smoking and consuming colored food items like coffee, red wine, chocolate, and sauces. These stains are easy to remove with whitening products that target the tooth’s enamel.
Intrinsic discoloration are internal stains from within the tooth. These stains develop due to dental trauma, tooth decay, natural aging, certain medications, and childhood illnesses. These stains are harder to remove and commonly require professional bleaching to whiten.
Before whitening your teeth, you can visit our Dallas dentist for an exam to determine which stains you have. This way, you’ll be able to choose a whitening treatment that best suits your needs. For instance, using whitening toothpaste to remove Intrinsic stains might not show any significant results.
● Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional whitening is offered by your dentist. In this case, you have two options: in-office teeth whitening and at-home whitening dispensed by your dentist.
In-office treatment is administered by the dentist right in the dental office. It offers the quickest, most effective, and long-lasting results. During the treatment, the dentist will begin by cleaning your teeth to remove plaque and debris. They will use a shield to protect your gums from the whitening ingredients. Next, the dentist will apply the whitening gel to the teeth.
The gels contain higher concentrations of bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide than other whitening methods. The dentist might use a special light or laser to activate the whitening gels for quicker and more effective results. After the treatment, the dentist will brush and rinse your teeth. On average, it takes less than two hours to get a brighter smile.
If you can’t have the treatment in the office, the dentist will take impressions of your mouth and make custom trays to use at home. You’ll also be given a whitening gel. You should add the whitening gel to the custom trays and wear them for a specific time, each day, for several weeks.
● Over-the-counter Whitening Products
You can get teeth whitening products in a drug store near you. It’s worth noting that these products have lower concentrations of bleaching agents than those from your dentist. For this reason, they might not be effective for deep or internal stains or might take longer.
Over-the-counter whitening products can include toothpaste, trays, strips, and mouth rinses. When using OTC products, consider choosing products that are approved by regulatory bodies like the American Dental Association. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions strictly.
● Home Remedies
If you’re considering natural whitening treatments, you can use home remedies like activated charcoal, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. Please note that these products aren’t scientifically proven safe or effective. Since most of these products are abrasive, long-term use can damage your teeth.
Teeth whitening can be harmful when done incorrectly or using the wrong whitening products. Contact our dentist near you if you experience the following side effects:
● Tooth sensitivity
● Gum irritation
● Enamel erosion (long-term complications)
To prevent these side effects, you can get your whitening treatment from your dentist or ask for their recommendations about safe over-the-counter whitening products to use at home.
Are you interested in teeth whitening in Dallas, TX? Contact Trinity Dental Loft – Dallas to speak with our dentist near you.