Smiles are one of the most influential tools of mankind. Just one can lift our spirit or give us the strength to persevere. With a smile, we can disarm the guarded and revive the weary.
It isn’t just a sentiment we feel within our hearts, but one backed by science.
There is strength in our smile, which may be why we put so much effort into making it shine.
Professional teeth whitening is a popular service. So much, in fact, that it has become a multi-billion dollar industry. But what is it exactly about this procedure that can turn a yellow grin into a sterling smile?
Discover how the teeth whitening process works, along with what you should know before setting an appointment.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
There are a lot of teeth whitening products on the market, but that doesn’t mean you should buy into them. The popularity of teeth whitening services has led to a booming industry, but one that isn’t necessarily regulated as well as it should be.
Many teeth whitening products found on the shelves can do more harm than good if used improperly. Instead of risking permanent damage, many turn to professionals to handle this process.
A professional dental practice like our own will offer high-quality teeth whitening services you can trust. But how does it work, exactly?
That answer is twofold. Because teeth can yellow for various reasons, there are different methods to tackle different causes. Those methods include intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Teeth Whitening
Tooth discoloration doesn’t always start on the surface. Depending on the cause, it may start within the inside of your teeth and reflect outward through the surface.
These types of stains are intrinsic, meaning they originate inside of your teeth. In order to treat this, dentists use a form of hydrogen peroxide gel. Sometimes this is called “bleach” or “whitening gel”, but these terms refer to the same formula.
When applied, hydrogen peroxide gel is absorbed by your teeth, penetrating the stain where it originates and lightening its tone. This method is safe and extremely simple.
In fact, it can even be done from the comfort of your own home! You simply apply trays to your upper and lower teeth filled with hydrogen peroxide gel for a short duration or while you sleep.
The average timeframe for results is approximately 2 weeks.
Extrinsic whitening is a different approach. Because it applies to stains on the surface of your teeth, dentists use a polish in order to clean them. These stains are most often caused by smoking or drinking staining beverages like wine, coffee, and tea.
Knowing the cause of your teeth’s discoloration is important. If you treat them with the wrong method, you won’t see the results you’re trying to obtain. This is why its best to consult your dentist to determine a safe and appropriate form of treatment.
Common Questions About Teeth Whitening
Patients who have never had a teeth whitening appointment often have a lot of questions. To help put our patients at ease, we answer some of the most common questions below.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Teeth whitening, when applied correctly using approved formulas, is 100 percent safe. Your teeth will not be damaged by the treatment, nor will you have to worry about any short-term or long-term risks.
These treatments restore your teeth’s natural brightness, so you can feel comfortable with your results.
Does Teeth Whitening Hurt?
Not at all! We understand many patients experience anxiety before undergoing a new dental treatment. However, we assure you that teeth whitening is a painless process.
Whether you require intrinsic or extrinsic treatment, you will find this process to be as simple and painless as routine teeth cleaning.
Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
Teeth whitening treatment restores your teeth’s natural white, but it doesn’t defend against future stains. As time goes by, your teeth will start to acquire new stains thanks to age, diet, or other influencing factors.
Most teeth whitening results last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years before patients return for follow-up treatments. How long yours lasts depends on a combination of diet, habits, and genetics.
Is There a Limit to Teeth Whitening?
Yes. One of the many reasons why teeth whitening should be done through a professional dentist is because he or she will help protect you against side effects or risks.
Applying too much of the whitening gel to your teeth too quickly can lead to permanent damage. You can also harm the soft tissue in your mouth if the gel is applied to your gums.
Consult your dentist about safe teeth whitening treatments and application. Always follow his or her directions and ask questions if you are uncertain about application methods.
Teeth whitening is safe, but only when done correctly.
Are There Certain Whitening Methods to Avoid?
There are multiple teeth whitening methods on the market today which are not approved for safety or are executed by individuals without the proper licensing or training.
Avoid laser whitening services offered through shops or kiosks, as an improper application can lead to gum damage or tooth sensitivity. You’ll also want to avoid whitening mouthwash, which is rarely effective, and do-it-yourself pastes made of fruit.
The reason these “natural” pastes are dangerous is due to the acid within the fruit. While it does whiten your teeth, it does so at a cost. When this acid is applied in a concentrated nature to your teeth, it eats at the enamel.
This damages your teeth and expedites the aging process. Instead of pearly whites, your teeth will begin to appear worn and discolored.
Always lean on the safe side. Do your research on the products you by and consult your dentist before trying something new.
Schedule a Professional Teeth Whitening Appointment
There are many reasons teeth lose their pristine whiteness and luster. Let us help revive what was lost. Our 5-star team offers professional teeth whitening services that will make you want to show off your smile.
Worried about cost? With financing options available, you don’t have to fret about paying for everything upfront. Talk to us about a year-long interest-free credit plan as you set up your appointment.