Tooth discoloration is among the top reasons that most people are unhappy with their smile. The good news is, this is an easy issue to address. Tooth whitening procedures address discoloration, improving your appearance and boosting your confidence. Here’s what you need to know about the best teeth whitening at Baker Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.
Understanding Teeth Whitening as a Cosmetic Dental Procedure
The sole purpose of teeth whitening is to improve the appearance of your smile by addressing tooth discoloration. This procedure does not make any improvements in the functionality of teeth.
The Science Behind Teeth Discoloration
Your teeth should be the same color as the whites of your eyes. Unfortunately, over time, they tend to yellow due to genetics, aging, and environmental factors.
Identifying Different Types of Tooth Discoloration
There are two types of tooth discoloration:
- Intrinsic: Internal, affecting the dentin layer
- Extrinsic: External, affecting the enamel
Common Causes of Teeth Stains and Yellowing
The primary causes of tooth stains include what we eat/drink and expose our teeth to, as well as injuries, and aging.
Exposure to certain foods/drinks
Foods and beverages can cause tooth staining. Common culprits are:
- Red sauces
- Red wine
Tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can also cause tooth staining. Research shows that there is a higher risk of tooth discoloration among smokers than non-smokers. (1)
Some research indicates that some people have higher acidity in their bodies than others. This can increase your risk of tooth discoloration. (2)
As you get older, your body begins to show signs of wear and tear. Your teeth become brittle, which makes them more susceptible to staining.
If you experience dental trauma and leave it untreated, the damaged tooth will begin to darken. This is especially true if the damage extends into the dental pulp or soft center of the tooth.
If you were prescribed antibiotics in childhood, it’s important to note that certain ones can cause tooth discoloration. Research has proven that tetracycline is the most common one that leads to this issue later in life. (3)
How Professional Teeth Whitening Addresses Discoloration
Professional best teeth whitening procedures address tooth discoloration by first determining the type and cause of tooth staining. Then, addressing the discoloration with the best treatment option.
Professional Teeth Whitening Methods
There are several professional best teeth whitening methods available.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedures at Clearwater Family Dental
In-office best teeth whitening procedures at Baker Cosmetic and Family Dentistry are the best way to whiten teeth. This involves applying the gel to the teeth and sitting under a UV light to activate the whitening. Since the gel has a higher percentage of peroxide, the soft tissues will be protected.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits for Convenient Use
Take-home teeth whitening kits are a convenient way to ensure that your results last as long as possible. These kits are not as strong as in-office treatments but are stronger than OTC kits.
Comparing Professional vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening Options
Professional teeth whitening is much more effective than OTC options because of the higher percentage of whitening agents. Plus, professional teeth whitening is supervised by a dentist, which can reduce your risk of damaging your teeth, gums, and other soft tissues in the mouth.
Ideal Candidates for Best Teeth Whitening in Clearwater, FL
While tooth whitening is safe and effective for most people, there are a few things that you need to understand about who qualifies for this procedure:
Assessing Dental Health and Eligibility for Teeth Whitening
Your oral health has a significant impact on your eligibility for the best teeth whitening. If you have significant decay or other oral health issues, you may not be able to have teeth whitening done. If you have restorations, teeth whitening will not change their color. This procedure only works on natural teeth.
Addressing Dental Concerns Before Whitening Treatment
If you do have dental issues that require restorations such as veneers, crowns, or dental fillings, you may want to consider teeth whitening first. Then, you can choose the color of your restorations based on the color of your teeth after treatment.
Understanding the Teeth Whitening Process
Before you decide to undergo a dental procedure, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Here’s what you need to know about in-office teeth whitening:
Step-by-Step Guide to In-Office Teeth Whitening
- First, the dentist will record the original, natural shade of your teeth.
- Then, you and the dentist will work together to choose the shade you wish for your teeth to be. We generally suggest that you don’t go too drastic.
- Your teeth will be polished to eliminate plaque buildup.
- Gauze will be used to isolate your teeth from soft oral tissues including your lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums.
- The whitening solution will be applied to teeth and a laser or UV light may be used to activate the whitening agents.
- After the solution has been left on the teeth for the appropriate amount of time, usually 30 minutes to an hour, it will be cleaned off.
- Fluoride may be applied to the teeth to ease sensitivity and, if necessary, a second treatment may be scheduled- or you may be able to purchase a kit to do another treatment at home.
How Take-Home Whitening Kits are Used for Optimal Results
Generally, in-office treatments will give you the results that you’re looking for even if more than one treatment is necessary. However, in some cases, you may not quite get where you want to. Take-home kits can help by continuing the treatment at home.
Customizing Teeth Whitening for Individual Patient Needs
Dr. Baker will help you choose the best color for you. You want your teeth to be white enough that everyone can tell the difference. On the other hand, you don’t want them to be so white that they look unnatural.
Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results
Tooth whitening results can last an average of 2 to 3 years, depending on how well you care for your teeth.
Tips for Prolonging the Effects of Teeth Whitening
Proper oral hygiene can help prolong the effects of professional teeth whitening procedures. You should use whitening toothpaste when you brush. Make sure that you brush twice daily and floss at least once. Also, visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.
Recommended Dental Care for Long-Lasting Whiter Teeth
You may want to consider getting an at-home kit from the dentist when you have your teeth whitening done. This will allow you to do touch-up treatments at home to maintain your results for as long as possible.
Conclusion: Enhancing Your Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening
Tooth staining is one of the most common cosmetic dental issues among young adults in their 20s and 30s. The least invasive option for resolving these tooth stains is professional tooth whitening.
Emphasizing the Benefits of Best Teeth Whitening at Clearwater Family Dental
There are several benefits of tooth whitening, including:
- Tooth whitening is more affordable than options such as dental veneers and dental crowns.
- Tooth whitening boosts confidence by improving your appearance.
- Tooth whitening improves appearance by minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and brightening dull, dingy teeth
Inviting Patients to Achieve a Brighter, More Confident Smile
If you want to learn more or if you’re ready to improve your smile with teeth whitening procedures, schedule your consultation with Dr. Baker and the team today at Baker Family and Cosmetic Dentist. We are looking forward to improving your smile and boosting your confidence.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
If you are interested in professional teeth whitening but have some questions or concerns, Dr. Baker will be happy to discuss those with you. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions at Baker Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Clearwater.
Are teeth whitening safe for everyone?
Teeth whitening is a safe, non-invasive way of improving the appearance of your smile.
What causes teeth discoloration, and can it be prevented?
Tooth discoloration can be due to genetics, environmental factors, and aging. You can do a few things to control the environmental factors, but you can’t stop the discoloration due to genetics and aging.
How long does a typical teeth whitening procedure take?
On average, a professional teeth whitening treatment will take 60 to 90 minutes.
Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?
Yes, teeth whitening can cause mild, temporary sensitivity.
Can I whiten my teeth if I have dental restorations, such as crowns or veneers?
Restorations cannot be whitened. Therefore, if you are interested in whitening your teeth, it’s best to do this before having restorations placed- and then choose the restoration color based on the whitening results.
What is the difference between professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter products?
Professional best teeth whitening products have a higher concentration of whitening agents in them.
How often should I get my teeth professionally whitened?
Teeth whitening results should last for 2 to 3 years. You can have touch-up treatments done between, but no more often than once every 6 months.
Are there any side effects of teeth whitening?
Yes, teeth whitening can cause some minor, temporary tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.
Can teeth whitening remove deep stains or intrinsic discoloration?
Yes, professional teeth whitening can remove deep/intrinsic stains. However, it will usually take more than one procedure for full results.
How can I maintain my teeth whitening results after the procedure?
The best way to maintain your teeth whitening results following the procedure is to practice proper oral hygiene habits.