There is nothing like a white smile to feel confident and able to express your best self. Therefore, it is no wonder people spend time and money to improve the appearance of their smile. Luckily, whitening is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures available in homes and dental offices using various products and techniques. However, it is essential to note that you should have a dental exam before moving forward with any dental whitening. This way, your dentist can rule out any discoloration due to conditions requiring specific treatment. Your dentist is the most knowledgeable in helping you choose the most effective whitening method for you.
The Causes of Teeth Discoloration and Staining
It is important to know that there are two types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic staining is often caused by substances coming into contact with your teeth. The most common causes of extrinsic staining include tobacco and foods such as red wine, tea, and coffee.
Intrinsic tooth discoloration is often a result of aging since enamel loses its translucency and becomes less porous over time. It can also be caused by exposure to excessive fluoride or tetracycline during tooth formation, jaundice in childhood, and inherited developmental disorders. Lastly, intrinsic discoloration can be caused by restorations, tooth decay, root canal problems, and trauma to any developing teeth.
It is possible to have intrinsic and extrinsic discoloration simultaneously.
The Risks of Teeth Whitening
The most significant risk of teeth whitening is tooth sensitivity that comes from bleaching and varies depending on a product’s concentration and the amount of time left on your teeth. However, it is also important to know that if sensitivity does occur, it usually does not last more than 1-4 days. Your gums may also become irritated when in contact with bleaching solutions or as a result of an ill-fitting mouth tray. So, it is crucial to wipe any excess gel off your gums during whitening and to let your dentist know if any of these problems arise.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes, clinical studies and years of research conclude that whitening teeth under dental supervision is safe. In fact, many dentists would consider whitening as the safest cosmetic dental procedure available to patients overall. However, whitening products are not recommended for children under 13 years old or pregnant/lactating women.
Do teeth whitening results last a long time?
If you can follow simple post-whitening care instructions, you can extend the lifetime of your teeth whitening procedure. Most dentists will recommend flossing and brushing twice daily to ensure the most extended lifespan of your results.
If you would like to learn more about your teeth whitening options, give Carlsbad Dental Associates a call today.
Located in Carlsbad, California, Dr. Edward Adourian is an experienced, renowned specialist in all things dental. From general dentistry to family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Adourian and his team can help you and your loved ones with all your dental needs. Our experienced professionals here at Carlsbad Dental Associates are more than happy to help you with Invisalign, CEREC same-day crowns, dental implants, and so much more. Give us a call today at (760)918-9000.