Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.
Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home teeth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate the replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.
Let the dentist do the teeth whitening
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is important that you consult a dentist before bleaching your teeth. A dentist will be able to recommend the best options for you, and can also supervise your treatment plan.
Your North Richland Hills dentist can help you whiten your teeth faster. The bleaching solution used by dentists is typically stronger than those found in at-home kits. To speed up and intensify the process, heat, light, or a combination thereof may be used.
Teeth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.
Reasons for teeth whitening:
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
- Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
- Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
- Yellow, brown stained teeth.
What does teeth whitening involve?
This type of teeth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear, plastic, trays. At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with a special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
Tooth Bleaching: How to Keep Your Teeth White
You can maintain your results, regardless of whether you have your teeth whitened at home or by visiting a dentist. Avoid acidic and tannin-rich food and drinks such as:
- Coffee and black teas
- Red and white wine
- Sports drinks
- Carbonated beverages (dark or light carbonated sodas)
- Berries and other strong-colored foods
- Sauces (soy, tomato, curries)
Teeth whitening: Why you should talk to your dentist
Tooth bleaching can temporarily make your teeth sensitive or uncomfortable for those with sensitive teeth. Home kits can cause gum damage, even temporary bleaching if used incorrectly.
Teeth-whitening is most effective for those with yellow teeth, but less so for people who have brown teeth. Tooth bleaching won’t work if your teeth are purple or gray.
Before you decide to use an over-the-counter tooth whitening product, consult your dentist.