Have you ever caught your smile in a mirror or a photograph and thought, “Wow, my teeth aren’t as white as I remember!?” If so, you are not alone. Studies show that 50% of people are not satisfied with the color of their teeth.
Whether you’re getting older or drinking a lot of coffee through work, teeth yellowing is an issue. You lose confidence and smile less when your smile doesn’t glisten as much as you’d like it to.
The great news is that teeth whitening products can help get back that perfect shining smile. Options are available at home or with your dentist for quick touch-ups or drastic changes with shades up to 6 times whiter.
Do I Need Teeth Whitening?
The first step to understanding which teeth whitening option is best for you is determining what has caused your discoloration. A protective layer called enamel covers your teeth and is typically white in color.
Over time, thin plaque layers build up on the outside of this enamel and cause your teeth to yellow. You can stop this from happening with good oral health and hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and visiting the dentist.
When plaque goes unchecked, it seeps through the enamel and causes a deeper discoloration that is harder to remove. You cannot expect to get it all off with polishing or scraping alone.
A chemical whitening process must occur to restore the white coloring of your enamel in this case. Again, this whitening method can be done at your dentist’s office or at home.
How does whitening work?
You must use a chemical reaction to whiten teeth that are discolored. It requires bleaching with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide for a majority of teeth situations. These products penetrate the enamel of your teeth and break up or dissolve permanent staining.
Even though it uses a chemical reaction, teeth whitening is considered safe for most people. Sometimes, whitening may cause teeth enamel to weaken or become sensitive.
It is essential to follow the directions of whitening instructions and consult with your dentist about the best option for your particular case.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, many dental professionals offer teeth whitening services. This may mean that they do a whitening procedure in the office, or they may send you home with a professional home whitening kit.
You may be able to achieve intense whitening within a few hours with in-office teeth whitening. In this case, your dentist with fit you with a specially made whitening tray and use a high-strength whitening agent, often paired with light exposure. This process will bring whiten your teeth up to 6 times more than you started with.
Though this option is more expensive than other options, it only requires one in-office visit to achieve the results you want. They will last for a much more extended period of time without maintenance.
Using a professional dentist-made tray is also a better teeth whitening method for those with sensitive teeth and gums. Dentists can make custom molds that protect your gums far better than generic whitening trays.
Benefits of At-Home Whitening
At-home whitening is a good option for you if you’re looking for a whitening boost at a more affordable cost. The downside to this option is you will have to keep up with regular maintenance depending on the product.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening is available in many different forms, such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, trays, lights, and more.
These home teeth whitening solutions are cheaper and will achieve up to 3 times whiter shades. However, they are not as quick-acting or long-lasting as professional office whiteners. You want to steer clear if you have teeth and gum sensitivities, although there are some products that take this into account.
We Can Start Your Teeth Treatment Plan
As you can see, you have many options to choose from when it comes to achieving a white-bright smile! We recommend working with us to discuss a whitening treatment plan rather than just troubleshooting yellowing.
Dr. Nathan Smith, our family dentist, offers in-office teeth whitening and can help you get started today. Patients love hearing about his family life and hobbies while sitting in the chair.
You can call our dental office today at (480).838.3033 to set an appointment for teeth whitening. We can also tell you more about what Dr. Nathan can do for your smile, including implants and crowns.