Teeth Whitening: All You Need To Know

Nov 01, 2019

Teeth whitening is the art of improving the color of teeth to make them whiter than they are. It is a common procedure in cosmetic dentistry for patients who want to improve their smiles. When teeth are discolored, self-confidence can be lost. Some discoloration is so severe that the enamel part of the tooth is no longer white. Luckily, there are dental teeth whitening services in Auburn that can benefit such patients.

What Causes Teeth Discoloration?

Teeth discoloration can happen to anyone. In fact, most people experience teeth discoloration in the course of their lifetime. Even then, different factors can cause this oral condition. Finding out the underlying cause is the best place to begin the teeth whitening treatment in Auburn, AL. some of the cause include:

  • Age – aging causes teeth to lose their original white color. If you are keen to observe, most kids have whiter teeth than adults. The reason is that enamel thinning happens with age. When enamel is lost, the teeth become duller.
  • Enamel thinning – occurs when the outer layer of the teeth – enamel, thins. The external part of a tooth consists of two parts, that is, the enamel and dentin. The enamel is usually brighter in color than dentin. When thinning happens, more dentin is exposed, which could explain the discoloration of teeth. As mentioned above, it can result from aging. Other than the age factor, excessive teeth grinding can also cause this damage.
  • Medication – Some medications can be so strong as to change the color of teeth, leaving permanent stains.
  • Foods and drinks – some foods are rich in pigmentation that can stain teeth. That includes coffee, tea, wine, tomatoes, to mention a few. Acidic foods can also cause enamel thinning.
  • Poor oral hygiene – most patients that have discolored teeth are not intentional with taking care of their teeth. The buildup of food residues and bacteria can change the appearance of teeth. This is especially so when plaque develops.
  • Smoking – other than the risk of lung and throat cancer, smoking can discolor your teeth.

What Does Teeth Whitening Procedure Entail?

Once you talk to your dentist about getting your teeth whitened, the preparation process begins. The first step involves an examination. A dental exam will help ensure that you do not have any other oral conditions. Some oral conditions like gum disease, dental decays, or receding gums can limit the dentist from whitening your teeth. Unless they are treated first, teeth whitening cannot be successful. Once you are cleared for teeth whitening, the following steps will occur:

Dental photographs

This step will help the dentist study the advancement of the staining in your teeth. It might be followed up with questions of how you got your staining.

Professional teeth cleaning

Your toothbrush is not enough to clean out all parts of your mouth. Professional deep cleaning of your teeth will prepare you for whitening. It will help get rid of any debris and food residues on teeth and even in between. This is the stage where the plaque is removed from teeth, as well as tartar.

Application of whitening gel

A whitening gel will help bleach your teeth faster than toothpaste can. At this level, there are two stages to get the final results. It can be done at home or in the dental clinic. At the clinic, the dentist will use lasers or ultraviolet light to activate the gel on your teeth. This will speed up the bleaching process. This stage works best for on-the-surface stains.

If the stains are severe, your dentist will recommend an at-home whitening procedure. This involves molding mouth trays to fit your teeth. The trays will help hold the whitening gel in place while at home. The gel is typically used every day for 2-3 weeks. However, you should follow the instructions of your dentist for the at-home treatment. While at it, make sure you do not prolong the use of the gel because it can make your teeth overly sensitive.

Other than the solutions mentioned above, there is a lot more you can do to improve the color of your teeth, including:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Cutting back on beverages like coffee and tea – if not, be sure to brush your teeth immediately you take the drinks
  • Brushing your teeth religiously every day
  • Using over-the-counter whitening gels
  • Using diluted hydrogen peroxide to brush your teeth

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