There’s nothing that radiates health, happiness and even success like a sparkling white smile. So it’s no wonder many people choose whitening to improve the appearance of their teeth. In fact, whitening is one of the least expensive cosmetic remedies available to enhance a faded smile. It can be done at home or at your dentist’s office, using a variety of products and techniques. But even if you are only considering an at-home whitening approach, it’s best to have a dental exam first to make sure your discoloration is not due to a condition in need of treatment. Your dentist can also help you choose the most effective whitening method for your particular situation
Statistics reveal that we place a high value on our smiles. According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey
Deciduous (baby) teeth are typically whiter than the adult teeth that appear later. As we age, our adult teeth often become darker, yellower, or stained. This is partly why white teeth make people appear more youthful.
Just as there are a number of ways to lighten or brighten teeth, there are also several different ways for teeth to become discolored. The main causes of darkened teeth are genetics, antibiotics, and certain foods, plus teeth tend to darken as we age. Internal tooth discoloration is caused by changes in the enamel of the tooth and the dentin. The main causes of internal tooth discoloration are exposure to high levels of fluoride, tetracycline, use of antibiotics as a child, developmental disorders, tooth decay, restorations, root canal issues, and trauma
External tooth discoloration is caused by factors outside the body, mainly foods and tobacco. The main causes of external tooth yellowing are smoking, foods with tannins, coffee, tea, carrots, oranges, and other foods.
Professional tooth whitening in a dental office is the preferred whitening method because even though stronger agents are applied, the rest of the mouth, including the gums, is protected from these materials. The best whitening systems feature a buffer in the gel that protects the tooth enamel from damage, are extremely effective,and can transform teeth in a single office visit. Your teeth can literally brighten up to 10 shades in about an hour.
In-office whitening affects only the front eight teeth and is a great jump start for take-home whitening, which is always part of an effective whitening program.
Your dentist is best qualified to handle any issues that may arise from whitening treatments, such as tooth sensitivity. Today most tooth sensitivity cases are easily managed.
Tooth whitening can last for one or more years, depending on how well you take care of your teeth, and if you’re following up regularly with a home whitening product for regular maintenance.
Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results
To extend the longevity of newly whitened teeth, dentists are likely to recommend:
In addition to the aforementioned risk factors, a number of caveats should be considered before undergoing teeth whitening: