Bright gleaming teeth are desired by many people, so much so that the tooth whitening industry pulls in billions of dollars every year. From over the counter whitening strips and gels to in-office and take home treatments provided by your dentist, there are many ways to bring your smile back to life by removing stains. While there are many ways to whiten your teeth, there are also many ways you can sabotage this procedure. Here are some tips to help you choose the type of whitening that will work best for you, and how to promote a stainless smile after your results are achieved.
The History of Tooth Whitening
Tooth whitening is a fairly simple procedure. So simple in fact that you are able to do it yourself at home. In the 1980s the landscape for tooth whitening dramatically changed. Tooth discoloration is a common problem and has been since humans became worried about their appearances. Since the 1800s most dentists would only worry about the helping a patient with discolored teeth if it were an endodontic problem. That is to say if the teeth were discolored because the pulp had become infected or injured and the tooth had essentially died. There was no known way to treat surface stains. In the 80s, dentists treating periodontal disease with peroxide discovered that the teeth were whitened as a result. After clinical experimentation formulas for bleaching were proven effective in brightening smiles of all sorts.
How Does Tooth Whitening Work?
Tooth whitening works by applying a bleaching solution to the teeth. This solution is able to permeate the strong enamel on the teeth and break up the stains that that have built up over time. Depending on your desired results and the timeline that you would like to see these results tooth whitening can be performed fairly quickly or at your leisure. This will also determine the concentration of bleaching solution in any given procedure. For OTC strips and gels, the concentration of bleach will be fairly low as to help protect the patient from doing damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. When you are provided your whitening procedure by your trusted Jacksonville, dentist you will be provided with a much stronger solution that will be able to remove stains with improved efficiency.
How Do Teeth Become Discolored?
Tooth discoloration can happen in many ways, the most common cause is highly-pigmented, corrosive foods, and tobacco products. While the enamel of the tooth is the strongest substance in the body it is not impermeable. Furthermore, when acidic foods are commonly eaten erosion can create a situation of vulnerability that contributes to the staining of teeth. Wine, coffee, and soda are frequently pointed at as causes for tooth discoloration. Tobacco usage also causes staining of the teeth. Exposure to tar and smoke can cause deep and dark stains to the teeth that can be difficult to remove with over the counter methods.
Tips on Removing Stains For Good
When you decide to whiten your teeth it is a great idea to talk with your Jacksonville, Florida dentist. She can provide you with the most effective methods for your desired results. If you are looking for a quick whitening for a wedding, or family photo shoot an intense in-office whitening can provide that. Further, this method contains the smallest risk, as your dentist is in control of the entire process. If you are choosing a more gradual method, a take-home bleaching kit will likely be your whitening method of choice. To keep your smile bright long after your treatment has ended, it is important to listen to your dentist and follow all instructions. By following all instructions in a take-home kit you will whiten your teeth with little risk. Leaving bleaching trays in for too long may seem like it will shorten treatment time, however the powerful solution should only be worn as long as prescribed by your dentist to decrease the chance for increased sensitivity. Another factor to consider is your oral tissues. Excessive amounts of bleach on the gums can cause sensitivity and damage to them as well. Following all your dentist’s instructions during a tooth whitening treatment is essential to a lasting bright smile.
After your treatment, avoiding staining foods and products is also essential for a lasting treatment. Brushing your teeth after drinking wine, coffee, or soda can help reduce the amount of time of these substances on the teeth and can prevent the chances of stains. Quitting smoking and using tobacco products will extend the life of your tooth whitening treatment and prevent a myriad of other health problems.
If you want your teeth to be bright and shiny for any reason. Ask your Jacksonville, Florida dentist which method would be right for you. And, don’t hesitate to ask for tips to help extend the life of your treatment.