How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth Whitening Marietta, OH

Professional teeth whitening can restore a patient's confidence by giving them a bright, gleaming smile. There are many different teeth whitening products available for home use, but the methods used to whiten teeth by a dentist can be more effective than over-the-counter alternatives. Here is what a potential patient should know about how the process works.

What is teeth whitening?

In-office teeth whitening, also sometimes referred to as bleaching, is a quick and effective way to restore the teeth to a pearly white. Dentists can use a whitening solution to break down stains and remove them from the teeth. These solutions are usually made up of a peroxide, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which is similar to the teeth whitening products sold at the supermarket or drugstore. The thing that sets professional treatment apart is the strength of the concentration. Peroxides can be safely used in much more powerful solutions with the help of a professional.

During a tooth whitening appointment, a dentist will generally use a chart to demonstrate different shades of teeth. The patient will be able to select their preferred shade to use as an ultimate goal for the teeth whitening process. To fully whiten the teeth, the patient may need to return several times. The dentist will apply the strong bleaching solution directly onto the teeth, being careful to prevent it from irritating the gums or other areas of the mouth. The patient will need to wait for a set amount of time, generally about 20 to 30 minutes before the dentist washes off the solution. The patient will then be able to compare the results to the original shade of the teeth.

Maintaining white teeth

As people age, it is inevitable for their teeth to begin to change color. While color changes are a natural part of the lifecycle of the teeth, getting treatment to restore a gleaming smile is almost always an option. The teeth should appear much whiter directly following the appointment, and while they may darken slightly over the following days, there should still be noticeable, lasting results.

There are a few things a patient can do to ensure that their results are good, including avoiding any foods likely to stain the teeth directly following the appointment. After a teeth whitening session, the teeth will be especially vulnerable to stains, but this should not be a problem for more than a few days.

Advantages of professional whitening

While do-it-yourself treatments can be an option for maintaining teeth whiteness, professional teeth whitening comes with unique advantages. Beyond being faster than home treatments, working with a dentist can be helpful for a patient with special concerns, such as crowns or fillings, that can not be whitened. A dentist can advise a patient about how much whitening is healthy and how long results should last.

What are some frequently asked questions about teeth whitening?

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about teeth whitening.

White types of stains can teeth whitening treat?

Some teeth whitening methods are more effective for treating specific types of stains. Patients who have more than one type of stain may need multiple types of treatments.

The two primary types of teeth stains are extrinsic and intrinsic. Intrinsic stains occur under the tooth enamel. This type of stain may result from age-related thinning of the enamel, excessive fluoride exposure and antibiotic use. It may also be genetic.

Extrinsic stains appear on the exterior of teeth. Exposure to discoloring substances, such as food coloring, coffee and cigarette smoke can cause these stains. 

How do actors get such white teeth?

Many actors and other celebrities appear to have impossibly white teeth. Some celebrities achieve their gleaming smiles by getting teeth whitening treatments from a dentist. They likely maintain the look of their teeth by following a rigorous oral hygiene routine. 

Many celebrities who have extremely white, straight and uniform-looking teeth have dental veneers. Veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are usually made from porcelain or composite material. Veneers can permanently improve the appearance of teeth and are resistant to staining, but patients may need to get them replaced due to normal wear and tear.

Conclusion

Teeth whitening can restore a patient's smile to a bright white color. Working with a dentist for professional whitening comes with benefits, such as faster results, and the reassurance of getting assistance from someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

Request an appointment here: https://www.mytotaldentistry.com or call McCarthy Dentistry at (740) 546-5178 for an appointment in our Marietta office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Teeth Whitening in Marietta, OH.

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