In a photograph-obsessed self-conscious world, it is no surprise that teeth whitening is reported to be the most requested procedure in a dental office (reported by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry). The main reason why teeth whitening is immensely popular is not just due to the boost in self-esteem, but also because it is pretty easily attainable. While there are many other ways to increase your smile’s aesthetic, professional teeth whitening is one of the most basic and least expensive methods. Hence, the demand. But before we dive into the different types of teeth whitening methods, allow us to quickly explain your tooth structure and why discoloration occurs.
Teeth get their color or their “whiteness” due to the enamel deposition on the surface. Enamel is the outer-most layer of the tooth and is cushioned underneath by dentin which is a soft, spongy, yellow material.
A certain degree of “yellowing” is normal. This is due to the dentin glossing through the enamel, making the teeth appear slightly yellow. But owing to age, injury, and consumption of colored food and beverages, teeth can undergo staining and discoloration.
Types of Teeth Stains
- Extrinsic, which are present on the surface of teeth. These occur due to smoking, consumption of tea, coffee, red wine, etc. These are easy to remove and can be taken care of via scaling and bleaching.
- Intrinsic, which are present inside the tooth structure. Injury to the tooth, aging and certain medications cause intrinsic or internal stains. While difficult to deal with, a combination of professional teeth whitening and at-home kits can help.
Best Teeth Whitening Methods
There are many ways to whiten your teeth. These include over-the-counter ways which you can find at your local grocery stores. And you have your professional whitening options which are done either in the dental office or at home using the take-home kits.
Teeth Whitening Toothpastes
Teeth whitening toothpaste removes surface stains through the inclusion of mild abrasives in their formula. Additionally, some of them may have polishing agents and special chemicals. While these work much better against stains than regular toothpaste, they are not formulated to actually “bleach” your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth-whitening strips are easily available in every drug store across the country. These over-the-counter whitening strips are easy to maneuver, fairly inexpensive, and offer satisfactory results. However, depending on the strength of peroxide they contain, they may take longer to produce the desired results.
Other Teeth Whitening Options
Whitening chewing gum, dental floss, and oral rinses are just some of the new teeth whitening options popping up in the market. Although relatively new, not a lot of research has been done on the effectiveness of these whitening products.
Professional Teeth Whitening
For immediate and guaranteed results, professional or in-office teeth whitening is the way to go. While it may seem slightly pricey, in-office whitening procedures are much safer. Performed by dentists, the bleaching agent is usually hydrogen peroxide or Carbamide peroxide and the whole process takes about an hour. If your dentist feels like you need a repeat procedure, they’ll schedule you likewise.
- Before starting the whitening procedure, your dentist will take a detailed medical and dental history to ensure you’re an eligible candidate.
- They will take pictures of your teeth and record the current shade. This is also done to compare the improvement in teeth shade after treatment.
- You might be asked to undergo professional cleaning before the procedure if required. The cleaning also gets rid of any plaque and calculus. Additionally, the scaler also removes some of the extrinsic stains.
- Your teeth might also be polished with pumice (a grainy material).
- Using gauze, the mouth to keep the field dry. A retractor is also used to protect your tongue, cheeks, and lips from the bleaching agent.
- A barrier is placed along the gum line to avoid any harm.
- The front surfaces of the teeth are coated with bleach.
- The applied bleaching agent is left on the teeth for about 30 to 60 minutes. A laser or curing light might be used to activate it.
- Your dentist might also reapply the agent.
- The teeth are rinsed once the desired results are achieved.
- To prevent any tooth sensitivity (which is a pretty common side-effect), fluoride may be applied to your teeth.
- Future visits might be advised to achieve the desired shade.
- You will be asked to avoid any colored foods or beverages and even smoking right after the teeth whitening procedure.
Take-home kits or bleaching trays have become increasingly favorable among patients. These trays are custom-made, provided by dentists, and can be used in the comfort of your home. Although they take longer to achieve desired results due to the lower peroxide concentration, they are much more effective than over-the-counter trays. They also have the added advantage of custom-fitted trays. OTC whitening trays are generic and have a higher chance of not fitting properly.
Take-home kits are usually offered by dentists to patients with extensive discoloration. The combination of in-office bleaching combined with the take-home kits offers perfect whitening results.
Where Can I Get The Best Teeth Whitening Services?
If you’re searching the internet for “best teeth whitening services at a dentist near me”, and River Rock DDS show up, stop right there. River Rock Dental Downtown Shakopee is your go-to dental office for not just teeth whitening services, but also anything and everything dental health.
River Rock DDS offers family dentistry which means that we’re skilled to take care of not only you but also your entire family. So whether it’s a toddler, an adolescent, an adult, or a senior citizen – we’ve got everyone covered.
Our dentists hold numerous years of experience and give a lot of weight to continuing dental education – which means that you’re getting quality dental care every single time. We offer professional teeth whitening services at competitive rates and guaranteed results. So if you’ve been looking to brighten that smile, give us a call – (952) 445-5556.