Teeth whitening refers to different processes to make natural teeth appear whiter and brighter. Your smile is the first thing that most people notice during your first interaction with them. Having discolored teeth can affect your smile and impact your self-esteem. Many factors could contribute to tooth discoloration. These factors include aging, smoking, other medical conditions, and lifestyle.
Regardless of the cause of your teeth’ discoloration, you can make them whiter and improve your smile. Depending on your budget and desired outcome, you can choose an over-the-counter teeth whitening product or undergo a professional whitening procedure.
Professional whitening may produce better and more sustainable results than other options. Not all teeth whitening procedures are suitable for you. Therefore, consulting with a cosmetic dentist is critical. At Tayani Dental Group, we offer professional teeth whitening services for all our clients in Fullerton, CA.
Types of Teeth Whitening
You can brighten your smile by whitening your teeth in various ways. Some methods can be done at home, while others require consulting a cosmetic dentist. Common types of teeth whitening options include:
You can purchase teeth-whitening strips online or over the counter. However, the level of peroxide used in these strips is limited. Therefore, their ability to whiten their teeth is limited. If you have severely discolored teeth, whitening strips may not be the right option. Additionally, the whitening effect of these strips only lasts a short time.
When using teeth whitening strips, you must minimize the contact between the strips and your gums. Before you purchase the whitening strips, you must consider how fast you want the results and what shade you want for your teeth.
Several teeth-whitening toothpastes are available on the market. The most common ingredient in tooth whitening toothpaste is hydrogen peroxide. To brush your teeth, you can use whitening toothpaste twice daily instead of your regular toothpaste.
However, sodium peroxide is known to irritate the gums. Therefore, if you have sensitive teeth or gums that are easily irritated, you should avoid whitening toothpaste containing sodium peroxide. Instead, you can use silica, which changes the color of your teeth and is mild.
Although you can purchase whitening toothpaste over the counter, it would be best to consult your dentist on the right and safest products.
Home Whitening Trays
If you are working on a low budget, you can still achieve your desired, sparkly smile through home whitening trays. You can purchase the whitening kits at the supermarket or a local drugstore. The whitening trays contain bleaching solutions containing carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
The different brands of whitening trays have varying concentrations of sodium peroxide. Therefore, you will need an experienced cosmetic dentist to help determine the treatment that suits your teeth. Home whitening trays are not effective for severe tooth staining. Therefore, it may take a while to notice the procedure's results.
Most people use home whitening trays without the guidance of a dentist. This predisposes you to the wrong application of the trays and can cause severe side effects on your teeth and gums.
Laser Teeth Whitening Procedure
Laser whitening is a bleaching procedure done at the dentist’s office. Unlike other whitening methods, laser whitening uses a bleaching gel and a laser beam of high light intensity. Laser whitening aims to reduce discoloration and restore your teeth to their pearly white color. The laser teeth whitening procedure takes up to one hour, and the dentist will follow the following procedure:
- Your dentist places a plastic or rubber prop in your mouth to ensure it remains open throughout the whitening procedure.
- The dentist will offer you some eye-protective glasses.
- Your dentist adds a barrier to your gums to protect them from UV light. In this case, the gum barrier is made of light-cured resin material.
- The dentist will then apply bleaching gel to your teeth.
- The dentist will direct a laser at the teeth when the bleaching gel has settled on them. The heat from the laser activates the whitening properties of the bleaching gel.
- The gum gel is removed, and the beaching gel is rinsed.
Although laser teeth whitening is painless, you could experience tooth sensitivity afterward. When you use laser teeth whitening, your teeth may maintain the desired appearance for up to three years. However, the duration of the procedure may depend on the following factors:
- The original shade of the teeth. Sometimes, teeth whitening may move your teeth a shade higher. However, the tooth enamel may return to its original shade with time. Therefore, the whitening effects may only last for a while if you have darker teeth.
- Your lifestyle. Even after the laser teeth whitening procedure, you must maintain good oral hygiene and healthy habits. If you smoke or consume alcohol frequently, the tooth discoloration may return sooner than expected.
- The type of gel and laser used. Different types of bleaching gels work differently for different people. The gel's strength and the laser beam will help determine the procedure's outcome and the service length.
- The frequency of treatments. Your teeth may remain whiter for longer if you regularly use the whitening agents or undergo regular in-office bleaching procedures. However, if you overdo the procedures, you could damage your tooth enamel. This makes you more vulnerable to sensitivity and tooth decay.
Only Gel Teeth Whitening
With the gel-only teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will apply the whitening gel to your teeth but will not use laser lights or heat to activate the gel. Most whitening gels used in this method contain up to 40% hydrogen peroxide. Different brands of whitening gels give different results.
Although the gel-only whitening procedure is quite affordable, the results are slower. Before you begin a professional teeth whitening procedure, you must discuss your expectations with your dentist. This ensures that you undergo the procedure that matches your desired results.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
The following are some of the benefits of teeth whitening:
Having brown or discolored teeth can be a significant blow to your self-esteem. This is because you will be conscious of interacting with others or smiling. Teeth whitening brightens your smile and can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Unlike other cosmetic procedures, where you must wait a while for the results to show, the impact of teeth whitening on your smile is immediate.
Better Oral Health
Good oral health is the goal of every dental procedure. Although the main aim of teeth whitening is to improve your smile and overall outlook, the procedure will also benefit your oral health. Discolored teeth can easily be a breeding ground for bacteria. Problems arising from mouth bacteria will not only impact your oral health but also your overall health.
When you undergo the whitening procedure, all the stains are easily removed, and your teeth will remain more robust and healthier.
Less Invasive Procedure
Some cosmetic dental procedures require extensive surgical procedures and may take a while to yield results. However, teeth whitening is a fast and less invasive procedure. Sometimes, you do not need to visit a dentist; you can use at-home whitening products. If you opt for an in-office whitening procedure, the dentist will transform your smile in as little as an hour.
Compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening is affordable for many people. If you work on a low budget, you can purchase over-the-counter teeth-whitening products and transform your smile.
Your Treatment Can Be Customized
You can whiten your teeth depending on your preferred shape. You can opt for a white smile or a touch-up on your original tooth shade. When you consult a skilled cosmetic dentist, the dentist will ensure you receive the desired results.
Whiter Teeth Make You Look Younger
Unlike plastic surgery and other extensive oral procedures, teeth whitening is an easy way to look younger than your age. Discolored teeth give you a dull smile that can make you look older without noticing it. Most people suffer from tooth discoloration as a result of aging. Therefore, your bright smile will be associated with youth.
Better Oral Hygiene
Many people will judge you based on your perceived oral hygiene. Some forms of tooth staining do not go away even when you brush your teeth daily. Therefore, the individuals you interact with could conclude that you have poor oral hygiene. Whitening your teeth removes tough stains and makes it easy to maintain the natural color of your teeth with regular dental hygiene practices.
Setbacks of Teeth Whitening
When you undergo professional teeth whitening, your dentist will take all the necessary precautions to ensure a favorable outcome and minimize the side effects. However, you may experience the following adverse side effects, mainly when you use over-the-counter teeth whitening products:
Tooth sensitivity is a commonly reported side effect of teeth whitening procedures. Often, you could experience this side effect if you have weak enamel or if the whitening procedure needs to be done correctly. Individuals with underlying dental complications like cavities could also suffer extreme sensitivity in the affected teeth.
Opting for professional teeth whitening is the best way to avoid tooth sensitivity. This is because the dentist will apply the whitening products most safely and can advise you on the right aftercare practices. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, the dentist may recommend that you have them fixed before whitening.
Gums are a sensitive part of your teeth. When the gums come into contact with the bleaching agents, you could experience irritation. Gum irritation can be an underlying cause of multiple dental complications. If you consult a dental professional for teeth whitening, the dentist can separate your gums from the teeth using a dental dam. This helps reduce the risk of gum irritation.
Whitening Doesn’t Change the Color of Crowns and Fillings
When you receive dental crowns or fillings, the dentist may try to match the crown with the date of your teeth. However, if you want to whiten your teeth down the road, you must understand that the color of the crowns and fillings will remain the same. Depending on your location and number of crowns, your teeth may look uneven after the whitening procedure.
Teeth stains can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending on the cause of the staining. Although teeth whitening will brighten your smile and sometimes improve the shade of your tooth enamel, you must be realistic about your expectations. Teeth whitening can remove most minor stains. However, you may need to explore other cosmetic dental procedures for the most severe intrinsic stains.
Before professional teeth whitening, your dentist will take you through the enamel shades and advise you on what can be achieved with available teeth whitening methods. If your desired outcome is not attainable with teeth whitening, your dentist will recommend an alternative.
Worsening of Dental Complications
If you have underlying dental conditions like tooth decay or enamel chipping, it would be best to resolve the complications before whitening. Teeth whitening interferes with the enamel structure. Therefore, the procedure can worsen some of your existing dental conditions.
Need for Constant Reapplication
Depending on your whitening procedure, your teeth will maintain the desired appearance for several months or years. Therefore, you may need constant reapplication, which can affect the tooth enamel and weaken your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Aftercare
Teeth whitening can offer many benefits for your oral health and smile. However, you must take care of your teeth after the procedure using the following tips:
Avoid Dyed Beverages
Heavily dyed beverages cause severe staining. Although whitened teeth do not lose strength, these drinks can easily stain them. You should avoid drinking anything after your teeth-whitening procedure, including red wine, coffee, and tea. Immediately after teeth whitening, consuming drinks with bright colors would be best. This will ensure that your teeth maintain their white color for longer.
Use Tooth Sensitivity Products
After a tooth whitening procedure, you may experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. Investing in toothpaste or gel that helps calm the sensitivity is a great way to avoid this side effect. These products will help prevent discomfort from the whitened teeth until you are used to the change.
Avoid Chewy Foods
Chewy foods like chocolate and sweets can cause severe damage to freshly whitened teeth. When you try to chew something that is not chewable, it can get stuck on your teeth, causing stains and damage to your whitened teeth.
Your teeth may become more sensitive after the whitening procedure. However, you must continue to practice your routine oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing. For regular brushing and flossing, you must do it gently to avoid discomfort and stripping.
Do not Overdo It
Sometimes, the teeth-whitening procedure does not produce the desired results. In this case, some people may be tempted to repeat the process. However, it would be best to do the whitening procedures sparingly. Taking time between whitening procedures will help avoid harm to your tooth enamel.
Make your Regular Dental Visits
Whitening your teeth improves their outlook and can help with proper dental hygiene. However, this should not be the end of your dental visits. One of the most essential parts of aftercare is ensuring you make a follow-up visit with your dentist. Regardless of the type of whitening you use, your dentist will determine whether the procedure damaged your tooth enamel or gums.
In addition to risking your overall health, smoking is one of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. Since tooth whitening makes your teeth more sensitive, returning to smoking could result in further discoloration. Discoloring your teeth again after the whitening procedure would waste money. You must undergo the procedure again to maintain a white, pearly smile. Additionally, regular teeth-whitening procedures can damage your teeth.
Drinking with a straw is a long-term practice to avoid teeth staining from coffee and other drinks. When you use a straw, your teeth will have less exposure to beverages, reducing the risk of tooth staining. If you want to keep up with the practice of using a straw, you can carry a reusable one in your bag.
Find a Reliable Fullerton Cosmetic Dentist Near Me
Discolored teeth can significantly impact your self-image and self-esteem. However, yellowing your teeth is not the end of your beautiful smile. You can restore your teeth to their natural shade or a whiter shade by considering teeth whitening. You can brighten your smile through whitening by using home kits, whitening toothpaste, or undergoing a professional procedure.
Teeth whitening is a quick and affordable way to improve your smile. However, you should assess the benefits and risks associated with the procedure before whitening your teeth. With many sellers and dental clinics claiming the best teeth-whitening products, you will require expert guidance to make the right decision.
If you or a loved one are considering teeth whitening in Fullerton, CA, you will benefit from the professional guidance and expert services we offer at Tayani Dental Group. Contact us today at 949-741-0795 for teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental procedures.