Teeth whitening treatments are an effective way to improve the color of your teeth significantly. These treatments consist of using chemicals with bleaching properties like hydrogen carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth.
The types of stains teeth whitening treatments are effective on include the yellow stains teeth pick up due to aging, stains caused by foods and beverages, and stains caused by tobacco use. Teeth whitening treatments are not effective on some types of stains like those caused by tooth decay, fluorosis, and tetracycline antibiotics. These treatments will not whiten dental restorations like crowns or veneers.
There are countless teeth whitening products that can be purchased from grocery stores, drug stores, and online marketplaces, but none of these are as concentrated as the powerful bleaching agents used for professional whitening treatments performed by dentists. These products lead to drastically improved results, and the typical session improves the color of the patient’s teeth by up to eight shades. Dentists can also provide their patients with at-home whitening kits that are more concentrated than anything sold over the counter.
How teeth whitening treatments work
As was mentioned earlier, the bleaching agents in whitening products remove stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth. According to WebMD, the products used for in-office whitening treatments typically contain somewhere between 15 to 43% hydrogen carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, while the kits dentists provide for at-home whitening treatments contain up to 20%.
These bleaching agents react with stains in and on a person’s teeth, oxidizing them away. Generally speaking, the longer these whitening products are kept on a person’s teeth, the whiter their teeth will be. Also, the more concentrated a whitening product is, the shorter it should be left on teeth since the bleaching agents in them weaken enamel. Leaving teeth exposed to these bleaching agents for prolonged periods can lead to teeth being dehydrated and increased sensitivity.
A custom mouth tray is typically used to administer teeth whitening treatments. It prevents the bleaching products from getting into gum tissues and causing irritation. It also keeps the patient’s teeth evenly coated with the whitening product during their treatment. The mouth tray is made from an impression of the patient’s mouth in a dental lab. The process takes about two weeks.
During each treatment session, the patient sits in a treatment chair and they are asked to bite down on a mouth tray that has been filled with a whitening product. The patient keeps the tray in their mouth for 60 to 90 minutes to complete the session. Their teeth should be noticeably whiter at that point.
Some patients get their desired shade of white after a single treatment, while others might need follow-up sessions to get there. For most people, dentists recommend aiming for a few shades whiter than the white of their eyes for natural-looking, whiter teeth.
Whiter teeth lead to a better smile
Ready to get rid of stains and discoloration on your teeth? Call or visit our Fort Lauderdale clinic to learn more about how teeth whitening treatments can improve the color of your teeth.
Request an appointment or call Smiles By Julia at 954-271-8034 for an appointment in our Fort Lauderdale office.
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