Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt unhappy with the color of your teeth? Please don’t feel ashamed of your smile; it’s natural for teeth to become yellowed or stained over time as we age. Unfortunately, everyday habits such as drinking coffee and wine, improperly brushing and flossing, or using tobacco products can increase your teeth’s likelihood of staining.
No need for alarm! In most cases, the professionals at Dr. Tosun Dental Clinic can help with one simple treatment, teeth whitening! Here are a few facts you should know about teeth whitening before scheduling your next dental appointment.
How does Teeth Whitening Work?
There are two kinds of dental stains. External stains look like brown or black spots that accumulate on the surface of teeth. Internal stains refer to the intrinsic shade of our teeth. While external stains can simply be removed with a dental hygiene treatment, intrinsic stains are embedded deeper into the tooth and need a whitening treatment to remove. The type of stain you have will determine your specific treatment option.
At Dr. Tosun Dental, we offer two types of teeth whitening treatments to meet your needs.
- In-office teeth whitening leverages the power of strong whitening gel alongside an activating light. During this process, a barrier is placed on the gums, and an activation light is pointed at the whitening gel which is carefully painted onto the teeth for several minutes. This process is repeated until we reach your desired look. The cycle is repeated until the shade of white (matching the white of the eyes, for a natural look) is reached. In-office treatment may run up to two hours and dramatically bring the shade of the teeth between three and eight shades lighter.
- At-home teeth whitening: we provide a lower concentration of our in-office gel with custom trays to be worn daily until the desired shade is achieved (often a week to ten days). This is an excellent option for someone looking to maintain previous treatments or with very light staining.
Does Teeth Whitening Always Work?
There are different types of teeth staining. Yellowish stains are more likely to respond to whitening. If the stains are brown, gray, or result from tooth trauma, they are less likely to benefit from teeth whitening services. However, if the stain is due to a trauma and you already had a root canal treatment an “internal whitening” procedure could be used to match the color of that particular tooth with the adjacent teeth. If you are unsure if your teeth would benefit from whitening, speak to your dental hygienist to discuss your treatment options.
Will My Teeth Become Sensitive?
It is possible your teeth may be sensitive after whitening treatments. However, if you have eroded or damaged enamel, you should avoid teeth whitening as it may cause further pain and discomfort to an already sensitive tooth. If your teeth feel sensitive after whitening services, the sensitivity is only temporary and should subside within a couple of hours. In addition, we will always provide you with an array of anti-sensitivity relief products if you have sensitive teeth.
How Long Will My Whitening Treatment Last?
There are no set timeframes when it comes to the longevity of whitening treatments as it really depends on you and your personal habits. There are a few things you can do to help make it a long-lasting treatment:
- Avoid foods and drinks that cause staining (coffee, wine, tea, cola, berries, etc.)
- Use a straw while drinking
- Practice good dental hygiene including brushing and flossing
- Add a whitening toothpaste to your daily routine
- Refrain from using tobacco products
While the effects last differently depending on our homecare habits, touching up your professional whitening treatment will also help you maintain your new shade and prevent you from needing the treatment again. Your dentist will monitor the shade at each of your follow-up visits and advise you accordingly.
Teeth Whitening with Dr. Tosun’s Dental Clinic
At Dr. Tosun’s Dental Clinic we use an interdisciplinary treatment approach to offer our clients cosmetic dentistry services such as teeth whitening, alongside more traditional services such as general dentistry, orthodontics, and oral surgery. Contact our clinic by phone or visit our website to schedule your first teeth whitening appointment today!