San Jose, CA
Teeth whitening is a common dental treatment that helps remove stains and other discolorations from your teeth and restores them to their natural color.
There are many options when it comes to whitening your teeth, from do-it-yourself treatments you can purchase at a grocery store or pharmacy to treatments that are administered right here in the dental office.
How do you know which type of teeth whitening is best for you? Here at Nancy Shiba, DDS, we can discuss these options with you and help you determine which whitening treatment will best fit your needs.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
There are many products to choose from when whitening your teeth, and there are a few different methods that can be used.
Some teeth whitening can be done at home with stain removal toothpaste or over-the-counter whitening products. These products generally have lower concentrations of the bleach than products used in a dental office.
Having your teeth whitened in our office is easy and pain-free, and it takes less time than whitening your teeth at home. We aim to complete your teeth whitening in one appointment.
What Can I Expect During My Teeth Whitening Appointment?
Prior to your teeth whitening appointment, you should have a regular dental checkup and full teeth cleaning.
This will allow us to examine your teeth and determine the best whitening method for you. If you have sensitive teeth, you should also use a desensitizing toothpaste before your session.
During your teeth whitening session, we will apply a protective gel to your gums and the inside of your mouth to prevent damage or pain from the peroxide gel treatment. Next, we will apply the peroxide bleaching gel to your teeth.
Finally, we will activate the bleaching gel with a special light that helps whiten your teeth. This process works much more quickly than the over-the-counter products you can use at home.
Oce complete whitening treatment takes about 20 minutes, and you will probably need three or four treatments during your appointment.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
One of the most basic ways to whiten your teeth at home is by using a whitening toothpaste.
While all toothpaste has an abrasive effect that can make your teeth a shade whiter, these types of toothpastes also have whitening agents in them.
However, the bleaching agent does not stay on your teeth long enough to have a notable effect.
The next type of at-home whitening commonly used are strips and gels. These can be found in your local grocery store or pharmacy.
These whitening options generally require that you apply them for one to two hours per day for seven to 14 days. Most users experience three to four shades of whitening from this option.
The most advanced and costly option for home-whitening involves bleaching kits. These kits are the costliest home option but are also the most potent.
They involve trays and a bleaching agent similar to what is used in our office. You can expect improvements of about four shades that last for approximately four months.
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening has many benefits beyond removing stains from your teeth. The teeth whitening process is safe for your teeth and is a fast and easy way to enhance your smile.
Having a brighter smile can boost your self-confidence and enhance your overall appearance. Teeth whitening is also more cost-effective than cosmetic surgery to brighten your teeth.
Additionally, it helps kill harmful bacteria that could cause gum disease or tooth decay.
How Long Does Professional Teeth Whitening Last?
Teeth whitening is not permanent due to continuous exposure to coloring agents through the food and drinks we consume.
Longevity varies from person to person, depending on the nature of your teeth. You can, however, prolong the results by observing the correct dental hygiene and teeth cleaning.
This includes avoiding foods that could lead to staining, brushing after using any whitening treatment, eating a balanced diet, and having regular dental appointments and follow-ups.
Regardless of which route you choose; you can expect results that will last half a year or more. The five to six shades of whitening that you will experience are immediately noticeable.
What Causes Teeth Staining?
Stains on your teeth can be caused by many things. Growing older may cause your teeth to grow darker naturally over years of normal everyday activity. Your tooth enamel will develop microcracks that accumulate stains.
Having unhealthy eating habits will affect the color of your teeth, especially if you regularly consume wine, coffee, or other deeply colored beverages and foods.
Regular consumption of acidic foods will erode your enamel, making them more susceptible to staining.
Chronic smoking will affect the color of your teeth because nicotine leaves brown deposits on your teeth that will slowly soak into your tooth structure and cause intrinsic staining.
Additionally, the natural state of your teeth can be more prone to staining. People may genetically have a tooth color that can range from yellowish-brown to a greenish-gray.
You may genetically have teeth that show some translucency, and may be more vulnerable to staining.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Most people can benefit from teeth whitening since stains and other discolorations can build up on teeth over time even with the best of care.
Some people have teeth whitening done in preparation for special occasions like weddings or job interviews.
Teeth whitening is not the right solution for everyone. It works better on teeth with yellow stains than on teeth with brown stains, and it does not work well on teeth with dental crowns, veneers, or fillings.
People who have very sensitive teeth may not be the best candidates for certain types of teeth whitening.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening and whether it is the right solution for you, please contact Nancy Shiba, DDS at (669) 306-7669. We look forward to helping you with your teeth whitening needs.