Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that is very popular. Not only does it remove discoloration, but it helps lighten the color of the teeth and improve the overall appearance of your smile.

How do I know that I Should Undergo Teeth Whitening?

There are many reasons why a person’s teeth could be in need of whitening. The following are several of those reasons that are culprits of manipulating teeth color.

  • Age:  As you grow older, your teeth inevitably age with the rest of your body. They tend to get darker and could even appear dirty.  For sure, dentists have found a connection between aging and the color of our teeth, and this is mainly because of tearing and accumulating stains.
  • The Darker Pigment of Natural Teeth:  Because of our individual and varied genetics, teeth color varies from person to person.  Some people can have yellower teeth, or even browner or grayer teeth.  As we age, our natural teeth color becomes more pronounced.  Teeth Whitening has the best result on teeth that are naturally more brown or yellow.
  • Teeth Translucency or Thinness:  Also genetically, teeth have a natural translucency or thinness that differentiates according to the person.  These genetic traits also become more evident with the aging process. Because the teeth found at the front of the mouth are created thinner and more transparent, the have less pigment than our other teeth to begin with, so they should be whitened first.
  • Your Habits of Hygiene and Eating: Consuming red wine, tea, coffee, cola, or acidic good regularly without practicing good dental hygiene will lead to staining and discoloration.  Additionally, eating those acidic foods can cause your enamel to erode and cause the yellow-colored dentin to reveal itself.
  • Smoking:  Nicotine is notorious for not only staining the teeth but slowly, but surely, ruining your tooth structure.  Just don’t do it.
  • Medications:  If a child uses Tetracycline when ill, it causes brown/gray stains on the teeth because their teeth are still forming.  These can be difficult to remove.  More so, if a child uses considerable amounts of fluoride, white spots will appear on the teeth.
  • Grinding: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, makes the biting edges of your teeth darker, at the same time as destroying your tooth enamel.
  • Traumas:  If your teeth suffer trauma such as cracking, big stains can be caused from internal bleeding or debris within the tooth.

 

 Sadly, teeth whitening is not for all patients

Teeth whitening will not work for you if your teeth are extremely sensitive, or if your gums are tender.  Additionally, if you grind your teeth or have cavities, teeth whitening is not a good idea.  Other dental conditions that prevent you from whitening your teeth are exposed roots, ulcers in the mouth, naturally having brown or gray teeth, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Whitening a tooth after having a Root Canal

 When a tooth undergoes a root canal treatment, it usually can become much darker than the rest of your natural teeth.  Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are able to be whitened however; the technique used is known as non-vital, or internal, whitening. With this whitening, it is not necessary to use veneers or crowns.  Your cosmetic dentist can remove discoloration in root canal teeth by applying the bleaching agent to the teeth enamel.  Sodium perborate is the safest and most popular solution used today.  If it is mixed with hydrogen peroxide , your teeth can become significantly whiter.  If you happen to have severe discoloration, feel free to mix a 3% mixture of hydrogen peroxide with the sodium perborate.  To reach the white color that you desire it may be pertinent to schedule several appointments. 

How long will my Teeth Remain Whiter?

The results that you wish to obtain will not be had in one visit, but rather several. However, once teeth whitening treatment is complete, the results usually last about three years.  This time frame is different for every patient.  Additionally, if you consistently smoke or consume products that stain the teeth, the result of your teeth whitening will be less evident.

Maintaining Your White Teeth

After you undergo Teeth Whitening, your teeth and gums usually feel cleaner.  For a minimum of 3 weeks after teeth whitening, you should stay away from drinks that cause discoloration to your teeth.  Your teeth have a better chance of staying white by using a straw to drink coffee or soda, brushing your teeth immediately after drinking wine, and cleaning your teeth after consuming those food and drinks that stain your teeth.  You should avoid chewing tobacco and smoking. Finally, brush your teeth on a regular basis with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Do not neglect to visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

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