Teeth whitening is one of the most useful and simple cosmetic dental procedures. It is the process of removing the stains or discoloration from the surface of the teeth to give you a brighter smile. Patients who get teeth whitening done usually display elevated levels of confidence, and they let out a more wholehearted smile.
Why do teeth stain?
Teeth stain or appear dull due to the following causes:
- When you eat a lot of colored foods or drinks, such as candies, coffee, aerated drinks, etc., the coloring particles tend to enter the porous structure of the enamel and stay lodged in there. This leaves a discolored appearance on them.
- Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes can discolor the teeth.
- In older individuals, the cause of teeth discoloration is usually aging. This happens due to the wear of the outer enamel, which exposes the inner layer of dentin, making the teeth appear yellowish in color.
- In rare cases, consuming certain medications can have an adverse effect on the color of the teeth. Also, if you suffer from a root canal infection, the infected tooth turns dull over time.
Teeth whitening procedures
At Mountain Dentistry, we offer several types of teeth whitening solutions based on your condition. The most popular ones are:
Conventional teeth whitening: In this method, we use a teeth whitening gel that is rich in Hydrogen peroxide. The gel essentially works as a dental bleach and whitens the teeth. The dentist applies the whitening gel on the teeth and will let it sit for a few minutes. During this, the gel liberates oxygen molecules that enter the porous structure of the teeth and remove the staining particles. If you require a higher level of whitening, you can repeat the procedure.
At-home teeth whitening: If you do not need an extensive, professional whitening treatment or if you don't have time to sit in the dentist's chair, you can choose an at-home teeth whitening method.
An array of teeth whitening products, including toothpaste, mouthwashes, teeth whitening strips, and trays, are available from local drug stores. The main ingredients of these products are baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that remove surface stains and discoloration. Over-the-counter (OTC)teeth bleaching products are a low-cost alternative to professional teeth whitening treatments. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of these OTC products to bleach the teeth effectively. OTC tooth whiteners do not always work as effectively as the whitening options you get from your dentist because of the lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Further, OTC whitening treatment may involve ill-fitting trays, messy gels, and slower-acting strips that can make your teeth mildly sensitive or the gums irritated. This can occur if bleach leaks from trays onto the gums.
To increase the effectiveness of at-home teeth whitening and prevent a few downsides of OTC whitening treatments, you can get the kit from our dental office. Our dentist takes a mold of your teeth and uses it to fabricate custom-made plastic trays specifically used for teeth whitening. The dentist also gives you a whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide solution to use with the plastic trays. You should wear the trays for 30 minutes daily for approximately two weeks. You can follow the application instructions given by our dentist and apply the gel on your teeth as prescribed at your convenience. You have to squeeze a small amount of whitening gel into the trays and put them on. Let them stay on your teeth for a few minutes, after which you can rinse the gel from your mouth. Repeat the procedure if necessary. Since the procedure is done under the guidance of your dentist and the trays are custom-made to fit your requirements, they are more effective than OTC products.
This at-home teeth whitening method, under the dentist's supervision, can match the results of the in-office teeth whitening. However, they require more time to get its results. When done correctly, the results of take-home teeth whitening treatment can last for up to two years.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (435) 645-8500 to have a consultation with Dr. Kimche, and we will be happy to help.