As people age, it is common for teeth to become dull and yellow. This is due in part to age and genetics, but can also happen as a result of what you eat or drink. Coffee, tea, wine and dark cola, for example, can stain your teeth, as well as smoking or eating foods that contain food coloring. Brushing immediately after eating and drinking can help to prevent stains, but it’s typically not enough to remove the risk entirely. Fortunately, stained and yellow teeth don’t have to stay that way.
We are often asked about teeth whitening, especially by patients who are considering an at-home whitening procedure. Although there are home-based options available, we always recommend that you schedule a professional whitening. Why?
Professional bleaching produces better results. In fact, in-office whitening can brighten your smile up to 8 shades lighter. That’s 6 shades lighter than store-bought whitening products.
If you haven’t had your teeth whitened, we invite you to call (202) 723-2400 and schedule an appointment with our Washington dentist office. It’s quick, easy, and can be performed as part of your regular dental exam.
How Teeth Whitening Works
When a whitening solution is applied to the teeth, the hydrogen peroxide inside of the solution penetrates through the enamel. It then starts an oxidation process in which molecules are transformed to reflect less or no light. This makes them appear colorless, and teeth appear white. This process can be extremely effective for eliminating stains and can be repeated frequently with caution.
On occasion, the stains are too strong for a teeth bleaching procedure to work. When this happens, Dr. Hines can provide an alternative treatment. For example, patients can have dental veneers placed on the surface of teeth in order to cover dark stains. This is often preferable for patients who smoke since veneers are stain resistant and won’t yellow quickly like natural teeth. Still, it is ideal to try a teeth-whitening procedure first, before starting a cosmetic one.
At Premier Dental Care, we also recommend that patients have their teeth whitened before having other dental procedures completed since most of the materials used in dental restorations or for cosmetic purposes are stain-resistant and bleach resistant. A dental crown won’t stain or bleach, for example, but it’s created to match the shade of the surrounding teeth. If the surrounding teeth are yellow, these restorations will be created in a yellow shade. If the surrounding teeth are a brilliant white, the restoration will be as well. This makes the timing of teeth whitening procedures important. If you live in the 20012 area and know that you need a dental restoration, have your teeth whitening procedure scheduled first.
The Professional Teeth Whitening Difference
There are two main types of professional bleaching, and each rely on our medical-grade whitening solution that can safely transform the appearance of your teeth without the risk of sensitivity.
The first option is to visit the dentist for an in-office whitening treatment that works in around one hour. The second is to have custom whitening trays created that you can wear at your convenience. Patients are provided with a whitening solution to use at home, and the trays need to be worn for a couple of hours every night for a week or more. Once teeth have reached the perfect shade of white, a patient can stop wearing the trays. This portable solution can be taken anywhere, making it possible for people to whiten teeth while on vacation, business trips or after moving to a new city.
At Premier Dental Care, our patients enjoy both options. If you have questions about which option is best for you, we invite you to call (202) 723-2400 and schedule a consultation with our Washington dentist office.