Your smile is often the first impression you make. A major component of your smile is your teeth. Discolored teeth have a serious impact on the quality of your smile, and can significantly dull your smile. When this happens, your confidence plummets, and you may suddenly find yourself hiding your smile from those around you. At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, we can help to restore the brilliance to your smile with tooth whitening - one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry services.
Why Are My Teeth Discolored?
The teeth are complex structures that consist of several layers. The enamel, which is the outermost layer, is very strong and hard. It is also naturally white in color. Over time, however, natural wear leads to the formation of microfractures on the enamel. These microfractures easily pick up and hold stains, pigments, and debris that dull your smile. Common contributing factors for discoloration include:
|•||What you eat and drink.
|•||Using tobacco products.
|•||Certain types of medications.
There are a couple of ways in which your teeth can be professionally whitened. One of these ways is done in the office and is commonly called chairside whitening. This type of whitening takes about an hour of your time. Before treatment, the teeth are cleaned. A lip retractor is used to hold your mouth open. Next, the whitening gel, which contains carbamide peroxide, is applied to the teeth. The gel is left on your teeth for about an hour. To enhance the effects, a UV light is shone over your mouth. The light activates the carbamide peroxide, causing the peroxide to break down into tiny oxygen bubbles. The bubbles penetrate the enamel, and can even penetrate the dentin, clinging to stains to bleach them away. Chairside whitening whitens your teeth several shades, and results are noticeable right away.
Take-Home Whitening Trays
If you would rather whiten on your own time, in the comfort of your own home, take-home trays may be for you. With this treatment, you are provided with custom designed trays, which are made from molds of your mouth. You are also provided with the whitening gel and specific instructions for use. Trays are typically worn for 4 to 8 hours a day, or while you sleep, for a predetermined number of days. Results with take-home trays usually begin to show in about a week or two.
Why Not Just Use Over-the-Counter Products?
You may be wondering why, with the abundance of over-the-counter whitening products, you should opt for professional whitening. The selection of over-the-counter whitening treatments is staggering. There are toothpastes, gels, strips, pens and more. All of these products promise drastic results in a short amount of time. However, these products rarely deliver. They contain significantly lower levels of bleaching agents. Rarely are they able to help you achieve the results you want, and it can take numerous treatments before you even see a minor improvement in the color of your teeth. If you are looking for real results, having your teeth professionally whitened will provide you with the best outcome.
Is Tooth Whitening Permanent?
While tooth whitening can provide you with amazing results, it is important to keep in mind that these results are not permanent. The same factors that caused your discoloration in the first place can discolor your teeth again. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help to protect your results and keep your teeth bright white for longer.
|•||Avoid, or limit, foods and drinks that stain.
|•||Drink plenty of water.
|•||Quit smoking, or using any other tobacco product.
|•||Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
|•||Periodic touch-ups can also be helpful.|
Tooth whitening restores the bright white brilliance to your teeth, greatly improving the quality of your smile and giving you back your confidence. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, today at (480) 939-5818.