The 10 Things All Patients Should Know About Teeth Whitening!
Having a beautiful smile is important to many people. 80% of American adults would like whiter teeth, but many of them do not know the facts about teeth whitening! Here are 10 facts that you should know if you are considering whitening your teeth.
#1 – A dental cleaning and whitening are not the same thing.
Just because you went to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned, doesn’t mean they altered your tooth color! In fact, teeth cleaning usually only include cleaning the surfaces of your teeth using dental tools, checking the quality of your oral health and then fluoride treatments for preventative measures.
#2 – Teeth whitening is essentially a chemical process!
Bleaching or whitening teeth is essentially accomplished using compounds from the peroxide family. These compounds are activated by contact with the surface of a tooth, causing them to release free radical oxygen, penetrating the outer layers of the tooth and oxidize the color-producing pigments. This ultimately gives teeth a whiter appearance.
#3 – The timing for desired results may vary depending on the process.
Depending on the process used, office visit or at home, the timing for reaching a desired result can vary. How is this possible? Office based whitening treatments often involved stronger whitening solutions or even advanced technology that speed up the process. These treatments, depending on desired results, can be as quick as one day while the at home process can range from days to weeks.
#4 – What about the whitening toothpaste at the store?
While there are several kinds of whitening toothpaste on the market, they do not affect the natural color of teeth. However, based on the American Dental Association (ADA), they are effective at removing tooth stains, therefore improving the overall appearance of the teeth.
#5 – Can a single, root filled tooth with discoloration be whitened?
In some cases, dead teeth become a discolored gray after a root filling. Contrary to popular belief, these single root-filled teeth with discoloration can be whitened! For a tooth that has been root treated, whitening can be performed by a dentist by reopening the canal (which used to contain the nerve), the whitening product is then applied from the inside to whiten the tooth.
#6 – Where can I get best over the counter whitening products?
The surprising truth is, your dentist! Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental has the whitening products our dentists recommend! That way you do not have to guess at the store which product will work best. Pharmacies usually have a good selection of whitening products. We recommend whitening strips over trays; however the strength may vary across brands.
#7 – What causes tooth discoloration and stains over the years?
There are many factors that cause tooth discoloration include genetics and aging, as well as many that we expose our teeth to surprisingly often. For example, discoloration can be caused by consuming stain-causing substances like coffee, tea, soft drinks or smoking cigarettes! While old fillings are also another common factor, so are staining caused by antibiotics and even excessive fluoride!
#8 – Why is teeth whitening gaining popularity with patients?
62% of people say that a person’s smile is one of the first things that they notice, this is the reason many business professionals chose to have their teeth whitened. Teeth whitening can also help some individuals feel better about themselves, as a way of improving their self-image. Some patients even see it as naturally part of maintaining their Oral Health!
#9 – Are teeth whitening a safe procedure for the patient?
Of course! In office teeth, whitening procedures are done by a highly trained dental staff, who treat whitening patients regularly. The ADA has approved whitening products in stores should be safe for use based on the American Dental Association guidelines.
#10 – Teeth whitening is not a treatment for everyone.
While a majority of people qualify as teeth whitening candidates, there are some people who do not, such as children and pregnant or nursing mothers. Teeth whitening also doesn’t work on any ‘false’ teeth, such as dentures, veneers or crowns. Although, there are ways that your dentist can clean and whiten those as well.
Now that you know more about teeth whitening, you have a better idea of what options you may have or even questions to ask your dentist. For more information on teeth whitening or the multiple teeth whitening options that Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental has available for our patients, please feel free to contact us.