Bright pearly whites AND daily coffee? What’s the secret?? Professional teeth whitening.
Why Whiten Your Teeth?
According to a national survey from the American Dental Association (ADA), Crest®, and Oral B®, the smile outranked eyes, hair, and the body as the most attractive physical feature! Sadly, many people keep their smiles to themselves, embarrassed by yellowed or stained teeth.
Many factors can cause your teeth to become discolored:
•Antibiotics – The use of antibiotics during childhood, or exposure to high levels of fluoride or tetracycline can cause dull or discolored teeth.
•Certain foods – Oranges, carrots and other foods can yellow teeth, as can coffee, tea, and foods and drinks with tannins (like red wine).
•Tobacco – Both smoking and chewing can lead to an unsightly smile.
•Genetics – Once again, heredity is a significant factor.
•Age – Teeth usually darken as you get older.
At-Home Whitening or Take Home Professional Whitening?
Once you’ve decided to brighten your smile, you can either use over-the-counter remedies, acquire professional whitening gels from your dentist or choose in-office-professional whitening. Aside from the standard brushing twice a day and flossing daily, at-home, over-the-counter remedies include:
- Rinses – These easy-to-use, mouthwash-type rinses whiten smiles gradually, since they’re only in contact with teeth for a short time.
- Toothpastes – Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains with enzymes or mild abrasives. Be aware that they can make teeth sensitive.
- Gel Strips – For best results, these peroxide-based strips need to be applied once a day, usually for 30 minutes to two hours. They work best when used for 10 to 20 days.
- Whitening Gels – These whiteners are not commercially available, but can be purchased at your dentist’s office. These gels are not sold commercially because they have a higher concentration of whitening agents which can burn the gums and lips if applied incorrectly. Your dentist will be able to determine if a gel will work on your case and if so, will be able to recommend the gel with the right type of whitening agent for your teeth.
What is In-office Professional Whitening?
Professional whitening with your dentist differs from home-style options in multiple ways. There are light systems and gel systems. Regardless of the type of system offered by your dentist, protective barriers are applied to the soft tissue around your teeth to protect them from the high concentrations of the whitening agent used during the in-office treatment. Dr. Martinez finds the best results with a new ionic technology offered by Colgate. This technology uses a one-size-fits- all mouthpiece which, when turned on, in combination with the whitening and conduction gels provides fast whitening without light and heat. Additionally, the one-size-fits- all mouthpiece can be taken home and subsequently be used with the Colgate’s take-home touch-up gel. Your best and brightest results will come from your professional whitening done by your dentist. We often hear patients say that they wished they hadn't waited so long to get started with professional whitening.
Which to choose?
If your teeth and gums are in good condition, you need just a little lightening, and time is not of the essence, a do-it-yourself remedy may work just fine. It will probably not whiten your teeth as much as professional strength whitening will nor as fast. For teeth that may be sensitive, especially stained, or for those who want fast, professional results, in-office professional whitening would likely be a better choice.