Do you ever feel conscious of your yellow teeth, and avoid smiling in social settings? If yes, you are not alone. Discoloration of teeth is a common problem for which several people seek professional help.
You may come across several over-the-counter solutions in the market. However, it is essential to consider safety as well as professional treatments. Moreover, if you have deep or dark stains, these solutions may not work for you.
This article will give the best teeth whitening products and treatments at a dentist.
What are the causes of teeth discoloration?
It is a myth that our teeth should be pearly white. In reality, the outer layer is bluish-white, and as the enamel thins out, the inner yellow layer of dentin starts showing through. There are various reasons why the enamel can wear out.
- Age – As you grow old, the enamel starts wearing out. At times, genetics also come into play and destroy your teeth at an early age.
- Food choices – Are you a heavy coffee or tea drinker? If yes, you are the risk of staining your teeth because the dark color and acidity of your regular cuppa are not healthy for your teeth. Similarly, food laced with artificial colors, berries, and sugary drinks can accelerate tooth decay and discolor your teeth.
- Habits – Smoking and drinking excessive wine can damage your teeth beyond repair.
Are You the Right Candidate for Teeth Whitening Treatment at a Dentist?
Teeth whitening can be an expensive procedure. You wouldn’t want to spend a bomb and not get the desired results. Moreover, if it is not done correctly, you are at the risk of permanent damage.
You can avoid this situation with a thorough understanding of the treatments available. Secondly, you need to visit a healthy teeth whitening dentist who will give you the right advice.
The truth is that teeth whitening is a procedure that works on yellow teeth rather than brown or gray teeth. In the latter case, the result is mostly found to be less than satisfactory. For instance, there is no treatment for the discoloration caused due to taking tetracycline antibiotics before turning eight years of age.
Secondly, if you have crowns, teeth whitening procedure can damage your false teeth, which are made of ceramic or porcelain.
What Are the Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments Available?
If your discolored teeth have been a reason for concern, visiting a dentist is your best bet. Apart from recommending the best treatment, they will also know how to help you in the best possible way.
There are three main treatments that dentists recommend for lightening the color of your teeth.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Also called power whitening, it is a safe procedure that can show tremendous results in just one sitting. The best part is of the process is the fact that it does not cause any permanent damage to your teeth or their structure. However, a little sensitivity is common for a couple of days after the treatment.
For this procedure, the dentist will first cover your gums with a rubber dam, which is vital to protect your gums from the chemicals and laser used in the method. The dentist will then move on to applying a hydrogen-peroxide-based bleaching gel on your teeth.
As part of the next step, the dentist will apply a laser gel to activate the whitening agent to release oxygen. The dentist will then shine a laser light on your teeth, which will accelerate the whitening process. The entire procedure can take up to one hour, and make a difference of five to six shades to your teeth.
Although this procedure is the most effective, it is also the most expensive one. It is not recommended for people who have receding gums or sensitive teeth. Moreover, this treatment is not for pregnant women or people who are less than 16 years of age.
Here is another process that gives practical and long-lasting results. The procedure takes less than an hour, and your dentist can prescribe home techniques to make the outcome a prolonged one.
As in the previous method, the dentist will cover your lips and gums in this case. The protective layer will avoid bleaching of these parts in the whitening process.
Then the dentist applies a whitening gel and then uses a zoom light to activate the whitening agent. The light helps the agent to penetrate the enamel and other more profound layers of your teeth. The dentist will apply this gel three to four times for intervals of 15 minutes.
Your dentist will ask you to avoid certain foods so that the effects are more deep-rooted. The results can last for as long as four years, depending upon your eating habits.
If you want a less intense whitening process, you can opt for bleaching trays. In this method, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and make custom guard-like trays for your mouth. The dentist will then prescribe a whitening gel that you can put in the dish, and cover your teeth.
Your dentist will advise you to place these trays in your mouth for a couple of hours every day. You won’t have to use them during the day, and the treatment can last up to four weeks. This treatment is less expensive as compared to laser and zoom whitening.
What Are Your Options if You Do Not Want to Visit a Dentist?
In case you don’t want to visit a doctor and want a home solution, here is what you can explore.
- LED Whitening kits – These kits come with mouth trays and whitening gels. A blue LED light is used to activate the gel. However, it is not exactly safe as the gel can leak out to your gums or lips.
- Bleaching trays with gel – In this treatment, you fill the plate with a bleaching agent. However, the liquid can spill out and burn your mouth and gums.
- Whitening strips and pens – These readily available strips and pens contain hydrogen peroxide. They can whiten your teeth within a couple of minutes and affordable solutions.
- You may want to note that you get for what you pay. These solutions may give you temporary or less than satisfactory results.
- There are many options available for teeth whitening both at home and in-office. It can be difficult to decide which option will best suit you. For more information, consider this helpful resource about in-office vs at-home teeth whitening.
Discolored teeth can cause tremendous worry and anxiety. With professional solutions, dentists can solve most of your problems. Visit your dental expert today to identify the right treatment.