Discolored teeth can make your smile dull. Though it is natural with aging, yellow or discolored teeth may appear even before a certain age. It may be due to diet, medications, habits or genetics. Whatever may be the reason, it is necessary to seize the problem at the right time to get your bright smile back.
Smile Select Dental, California, works to maintain the oral health of its patients. We provide effective cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening in California options to make your smile bright. Here is how teeth whitening will help you get rid of that yellow smile.
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a dental procedure of removing stains and making teeth whiter. It lightens the tooth color by several shades without removing any surface of the tooth. It only works on natural teeth and may not work on crowns, dental veneers, and dentures.
How Does it Work?
Teeth whitening is a simple yet effective process. It involves the use of bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Our teeth color is determined by dentin present under the enamel. As enamel gets thinner, more dentin shows resulting in yellow color appearance.
When the staining agents sit on enamel for years, it discolors the tooth. The bleaching agents get into the enamel and initiate oxidation reactions and break the staining compounds. This results in the formation of unstable free radicals that attach themselves to organic pigment molecules, reflecting less light and thus generating a “whitening effect”.
Methods of Teeth Whitening
1. Home Care
There are several ways in which you can lighten the teeth shade and whiten them at home.
a. Whitening Toothpaste
There are several kinds of toothpaste available that contain cleansers. These facilitate the removal of stains and whitening of teeth. Though not very much effective, this method is successful in less severe cases.
b. Teeth Whitening Kit (Over-counter method)
You can purchase a teeth whitening kit. It comes with a mouthpiece or strips. The whitening gel is applied in it and placed in the mouth. Being the least expensive option, it is also the least effective because over-the-counter mouthpieces generally do not fit well.
2. In-office Treatment
This procedure requires two to three visits to the dentist, depending on the severity of the stain. The dentist applies a gum guard in your mouth and then applies the bleaching agent. You can also get customized mouthpieces made from your dentist. This allows you to carry the procedure at home by filling these mouthpieces with bleaching agents. With the dentist's supervision, you can continue to use these to get the desired shade.
Non- Vital Whitening is done for teeth that have undergone root canal treatment. In this, the whitening agent is placed on the tooth and temporarily filled. The agent is removed when required.
Tips to Maintain the Whitening
Avoid over-consumption of sugary food and staining drinks (cold drinks, tea, coffee)
Brush your teeth twice a day to maintain the whitening.
Whitening is not a permanent solution as the effects may wear out with time. Hence, it is essential to regularly visit the dentist to get re-whitening done at the right time.