Do you wish your teeth were just a little bit whiter? Do you feel self-conscious about your smile because of the stains on your teeth? You’re not alone. Many people wish they could have brighter teeth. As a result, teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States each year, and for good reason – it can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your smile! In this blog post, we will teach you more about this revolutionary treatment by answering four of the most common questions people ask about teeth whitening.
What is teeth whitening and how is it performed?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that uses bleaching agents to remove stains and discoloration from the teeth. The most common type of teeth whitening procedure is in-office bleaching, which is performed by a dental professional. However, there are also at-home teeth whitening kits that can be prescribed by your dentist, as well as over the counter treatments that can be purchased from your local pharmacy or online.
In-office whitening is performed in your dentist’s office by a dental professional. The process usually starts with the dentist cleaning and prepping the teeth. Then, a bleaching agent is applied to the teeth and left in place for a certain amount of time. Afterward, the dentist will remove the bleaching agent and clean the teeth again. In-office whitening is usually done in one or two visits, and the results are immediate. The results are also more dramatic than at-home treatments because a stronger concentration of bleaching agent is used.
At-home teeth whitening kits are prescribed by your dentist and can be used in the comfort of your own home. These kits usually come with a bleaching gel that you apply to your teeth using custom-fitted mouth trays. The concentration of bleaching agent in at-home kits is not as strong as what is used in the dentist’s office, so the results take longer to achieve. However, at-home teeth whitening treatments are more affordable than in-office procedures and can be done on your own time.
Over the counter teeth whitening products are available without a prescription from your dentist. These products come in the form of gels, strips, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. They usually contain weaker bleaching agents than what is used in professional teeth whitening treatments, so the results take longer to achieve. In addition, over the counter teeth whitening products can be more difficult to use and may cause more tooth sensitivity than treatments performed by a dental professional.
What types of stains can teeth whitening remove?
Teeth whitening can be used to remove two types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are surface (enamel) stains that are caused by factors such as smoking, drinking coffee or tea, and eating certain foods. These stains can usually be removed with regular teeth cleaning by a dental professional. If the stains are resistant to regular teeth cleaning, then teeth whitening may be recommended.
Intrinsic stains are deep-set stains that occur on the inside of the tooth, known as the dentin layer. These types of stains are often caused by medications, fluorosis, and aging. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove than extrinsic stains and may require multiple teeth whitening treatments. In some cases, they may not be able to be completely removed.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. The bleaching agent used for teeth whitening is made of carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, both of which break down into water and can safely be absorbed by the body. While there is a risk of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation, these risks are decreased when teeth whitening is performed in an office setting.
However, when using any at-home whitening treatments, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your dentist or the manufacturer of the teeth whitening product to avoid tooth sensitivity and other side effects. If you experience any pain, irritation, or other side effects after teeth whitening, be sure to contact your dentist right away.
How long do the results from teeth whitening last?
The results from teeth whitening can last for several months to a year, depending on the type of treatment used and the individual’s lifestyle. This is because teeth whitening only removes existing stains and does not protect against future stains. This means that your results will last as long as you don’t expose your teeth to things that can stain them. For example, smokers or people who drink coffee or tea regularly may notice their teeth start to yellow again within a few months. To maintain the results of your teeth whitening treatment, you may need to have touch-ups every few months or use at-home whitening products on a regular basis.
In this blog, we have answered some of the most common questions about teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. The results from teeth whitening can last for several months to a year, depending on the type of treatment used and the individual’s lifestyle. To learn more about teeth whitening, be sure to schedule a teeth whitening appointment with Dr. Alina Huang of Glow Dental in Manhattan. Dr. Huang will be able to help you decide if teeth whitening is right for you and recommend the best treatment option for your needs. Thanks for reading!
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.