Teeth whitening is one of the most popular services in cosmetic dentistry and drives many people to visit Family Tree Dental Care. The service lifts stains from your teeth while brightening their overall tone.
Teeth whitening relies on bleaching products like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to lift stains and discoloration. It’s important to keep in mind that these whitening products only work on natural teeth and will not change the shades of any restorations including crowns, bridges, and veneers.
If you need crowns, bridges, or veneers around the same time as you want to get whitening, Dr. Hong may suggest getting teeth whitening first so she can color-match the porcelain or ceramic of your restorations to the newly whitened shade of your other teeth.
Teeth whitening removes or lifts stains from some of the most common foods, drinks, and products that cause them. A good rule to remember is that teeth whitening is most effective on yellow, tan, and brown shades. These stains tend to be in the enamel, which is the outermost porous layer of each tooth. They’re called extrinsic stains.
Having extrinsic stains is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you have bad hygiene habits. However, practicing great oral hygiene helps keep stains and discoloration at bay.
Stains that respond well to whitening include:
If you have discoloration that looks darker in color, like shades of gray, blue, or even dark brown, teeth whitening may not make much of a difference. Gray discoloration comes from various medications, head and neck radiation, or trauma to the teeth and is not responsive to whitening since it originates in the dentin layer.
At Family Tree Dental Care, you may have the choice between in-office whitening and take-home whitening trays.
Whitening in the office involves placing a protective barrier over your gums. Next, Dr. Hong applies the whitening product to your exposed teeth and shines a light on it to activate the product. The product stays on your teeth for 15-30 minutes.
Opting for take-home whitening trays may be the better option for you if you don’t have at least an hour or so to spend in the office. You can use them at home on your own time. They contain stronger whitening solutions than the products you find at the store, and Dr. Hong gives you clear instructions on how to use them safely.
If you want expert help in comparing office teeth whitening to take-home trays, call Family Tree Dental Care or schedule your consultation online today.