Your smile and your teeth are some of the very first things that people notice about you. When your teeth are anything but white, your confidence may be affected, and you find yourself doing anything you can to hide your smile. In doing so, you may be sending the wrong impression to those around you. At Olson Family Dental, we can provide you with teeth whitening, restoring the brilliant white gleam to your teeth as well as your confidence.
How Does Discoloration Occur?
The biggest culprits of tooth discoloration are the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Things such as coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries, and tomato-based products are rich in dark pigments that adhere to the enamel of your teeth, effectively altering and dulling, their color. Other culprits of discoloration include:
||Tobacco products, including smoking and chewing tobacco. These products contain tar and nicotine, both of which lead to stubborn stains.
||Certain medications. Antihistamines and blood pressure medications can discolor teeth. Medications such as tetracycline and doxycycline can cause deep staining to the developing permanent teeth of young children. These medications can even harm developing teeth of babies still in the womb if the medications are taken by the mother.
||Age. As you get older, your enamel naturally thins, exposing the dentin layer beneath, which is darker in color.
At Home Whitening
Minor stains can often be dealt with using at home whitening products, which can be picked up over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store. One of the most common options is a whitening toothpaste, which contains abrasives that can scrub light stains away.
Another common in home whitening option is whitening strips. Whitening strips contain low levels of bleaching agents to remove minor stains after a given number of applications. While helpful to some, if you have deeper, more set-in stains, we can help with professional whitening services.
Professional Whitening Services
For deep-set, stubborn stains, we offer you a couple of different professional whitening options. The first is known as chair-side whitening and done right in our office. Before we get started, we place a protective gel on your gums, which will prevent any damage from the bleaching agent. Next, the bleaching agent (which can be made with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) is placed on your teeth. As your teeth whiten, we shine a special light over them to enhance the effects.
Your other option is whitening trays. After we take molds of your teeth, we provide you with custom trays and a whitening gel, along with a set of instructions on how to use them. This whitening can be done in the comfort of your home, on your time. Results often show after a week.
Caring for Your Teeth After Whitening
Whitening is not a permanent solution and can be quickly reversed if proper care is not taken. For the first few days following your whitening treatment, avoid anything that can cause stains – food, beverages, smoking, etc. Even after this time, limiting staining foods and beverages, following them with water, drinking dark beverages through straws, and regular brushing and flossing can help to keep your teeth whiter longer.
Is Whitening Safe?
Many patients wonder if using whitening products. Research has shown that they are both safe and effective. Temporary sensitivity is a common side effect but can be managed with a sensitivity toothpaste. You should also bear in mind not to use whitening products, professional or otherwise, longer than the recommended amount of time.
With teeth whitening, you can get back your bright white smile, and gain a boost of confidence. Contact Olson Family Dental today to learn more!