What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to restore the dazzling whiteness of your smile. Over the last few years, seemingly thousands of home teeth whitening kits have flooded the market. Unfortunately, many of these products aren’t worth wasting your time on.
Effective teeth whitening relies on a variety of different factors. This means the best way to ensure results is to have the procedure done professionally with your dentist. Having your teeth professionally whitened is a safe, painless procedure which can boost your self-esteem, with no damage to the teeth or the tooth enamel.
Benefits of Seeing a Teeth Whitening Dentist
Whitening teeth professionally offers a wide array of benefits for patients: some obvious, and some less apparent. Just some of the benefits of undergoing a professional whitening procedure include:
- A brighter, more attractive smile.
- Boosts in confidence and self-esteem.
- Whitening can help remove stains and strengthen teeth.
- Faster results than over-the-counter whitening programs.
- Safer than over-the-counter treatments.
- Full customization to suit your needs.
Who Can Benefit from Tooth Whitening?
Professional whitening is generally a procedure that can benefit anyone with discolored or stained teeth. This is because the procedure is effective, easy and safe. There are some, however, who may not be suitable for teeth whitening.
Those with gum problems, such as sensitivity, tenderness or a receding gum line, may experience discomfort during the whitening process as a result of the bleaching agents used. In addition, those who have had previous work done on their front teeth may experience a variety of shades of the teeth after the procedure, depending on the nature of the dental work and the materials used.
According to the American Dental Association, brownish or grayish stains may not whiten as well as yellowish stains. In order to understand if professional whitening is right for you, be sure to speak with your dentist.
The Tooth Whitening Process
Before the procedure, your teeth whitening dentist will make a record of the original shade of your teeth, pre-whitening. Once this is complete, they will polish your teeth with pumice to remove any plaque on the surface of the teeth. Pumice is a grainy, rugged material that is great at removing all debris from the surface of the teeth. Once the teeth are clean, they are isolated from the mouth with gauze, in order to ensure they remain dry during the procedure. Retractors may also be used to hold the cheeks, lips, tongue and gums away from the whitening solution as well.
During the procedure, the teeth are coated with a whitening solution, usually containing a bleaching agent of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This solution is only applied to the front of the teeth. Usually, the solution will remain on the teeth for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the optimum shade of white is achieved. Reapplication of the whitening solution may also be required. Some whitening solutions require the use of a laser, or a curing light to achieve desired – and lasting – results.
After the Procedure
Once the desired shade of white is achieved, the teeth will be rinsed to remove all whitening agents, and a fluoride treatment is applied to help reduce sensitivity.
After the procedure is finished, patients are advised to avoid dark-colored foods and beverages for at least 24 hours, as they may re-stain the teeth. These items include, but are not limited to:
- Tomato-based products, such as tomato sauce, ketchup, or tomato juice
- Red wine
- Smoking or any tobacco products
Is Whitening Teeth Actually Safe?
One of the most common questions we hear about professional teeth whitening is, “is it safe?”
Simply put, professional teeth whitening is an extremely safe procedure. Why? Well, tooth enamel is incredibly durable. Tooth enamel is the outer covering of the tooth – almost like its protective shell. Enamel, in fact, is considered to be the hardest tissue in the human body. This enamel isn’t what causes discoloration of teeth – that’s the Dentin.
Dentin is the main portion of a tooth and is responsible for the color of it. This layer of tissue is what absorbs much of the tooth’s stains, from factors like sodas, tea or coffee, wine, tobacco, and other products. In order to successfully whiten your teeth, products must bypass the enamel, through the previously mentioned tubules and remove stains from the dentin. Therefore, tooth whitening is virtually harmless to your enamel.
One reason why people believe that tooth whitening might damage the tooth’s enamel is that of pain and sensitivity. As the whitening products begin to take effect, the tubules of the enamel are left open and exposed to bleaching agents, like peroxide-based whiteners – which causes sensitivity to the dentin. Fortunately, this discomfort is temporary, and it will not cause any lasting damage to either your enamel or dentin.
Looking for a Brighter Smile? Contact Florida Dental Solutions Today
Discolored teeth can be embarrassing and cause great mental anguish. Fortunately, getting your teeth whitened back to their pearly brilliance is an easy process! Visiting a dentist, however, shouldn’t be painful or stressful.
At Florida Dental Solutions, we strive to make getting dental work done a pleasant experience. We specialize in providing our clients comprehensive dental care at affordable prices. If you are looking to say goodbye to discolored teeth, give us a call today at (954) 362-4102.
Helping you improve your smile and maintain your oral health.
6902 Stirling Road
Davie, Florida 33024
Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm
Available 24/7 for emergencies