Your smile is important–that goes without saying. It’s a key part of your first impression and serves in many ways as your “hello” to the world around you. Smiling transcends language and speaks directly to the heart. And while your smile is meant to last a lifetime, wear and tear can dull its shine.
This is where proper dental care comes in, which may include teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening is important in maintaining your smile and keeping it looking its best. Professional teeth whitening offers a number of advantages over at-home treatments or conventional cleanings when it comes to improving the appearance of your teeth. Let’s take a look at what whitening does and how it might help you.
Teeth Whitening and Teeth Discoloration
Teeth whitening is a means of countering tooth discoloration, also known as tooth yellowing. As the names might suggest, this happens when the teeth acquire a non-natural color or stain. This often gives them a yellow appearance, hence tooth yellowing. Stains and discoloration can appear on your teeth for a variety of reasons:
- Acidic or Strongly Colored Beverages are a prime culprit for teeth discoloration and one of the most common reasons patients seek teeth coloring. Sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine are all likely to cause discolored or yellowed teeth.
- Smoking and Chewing Tobacco are detrimental to all aspects of your health, particularly your oral health. They cause discoloration and yellowing, among other problems.
- Poor Diet or Poor Eating Habits is another reason teeth change color. Sugary or starchy foods are fine, but consumed in excess they can cause discoloration, cavities, or other damage to the teeth.
- Aging is unavoidable and can cause teeth discoloration in some people. Depending on your diet and lifestyle, this may start as early as your late 20s.
- Dry Mouth Condition, also known as Xerostomia can lead to discolored teeth or teeth yellowing. The lack of saliva robs teeth of some protection, leaving them vulnerable to damage like discoloration.
- Some Medications can lead to discoloration or yellowing of the teeth. These include some antibiotics, fluoride treatments, or excess dietary fluoride.
- Plaque & Tartar are, as always, a problem in oral hygiene. If left to accumulate, they can cause discoloration, damage, or even tooth loss.
The Role of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening works to counteract some of those damaging factors by removing stains and discoloration from the teeth. In conjunction with regular brushing and flossing and routine exams and cleanings, teeth whitening can do a lot to make your smile the best it can be. While at-home teeth whitening treatments exist, they can be difficult to use, time-consuming and messy, and are far less effective than a professional whitening treatment.
So what happens during a professional teeth whitening treatment? Generally speaking, your dentist will conduct this during an appointment. They’ll apply one of a number of whitening chemicals to your teeth, which are safe to use inside the mouth but have enough bleaching powder to remove stains and discoloration. Your dentist may want to do the whitening treatment in conjunction with cleaning in order to ensure that all debris has been removed from the mouth, allowing the whitening treatment to be its most effective. The chemical used will generally be applied to your teeth in dental trays, so you’ll bite down and hold them for a set amount of time like you would a fluoride treatment. When the time is up, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the tray, rinse out your mouth, and you’ll be on your way with a newly brightened smile. Sometimes more than one treatment is required, but it’s generally not time-consuming and involves minimal discomfort to the patient.
Teeth whitening can make your smile brighter, improve your appearance and confidence, and make your world a bit nicer to live in. If you think teeth whitening might be for you, get in touch and make an appointment today!