Cosmetic teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental procedures. Who doesn’t want to look and feel their best with gleaming white teeth? Over time, stains and yellowing occurs as a result of different foods, drinks, genetics, and lifestyle habits and can be frustrating for many. As with any other procedure, teeth whitening has its pros and cons and a discussion with your dentist will help you decide on whether or not this procedure is right for you.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Yellowing teeth is common and natural. It can result in different foods such as candy or sugary snacks which attract bacteria and cause yellow teeth over time. Sugary drinks as well as coffee and tea can also be the culprit for stained teeth. In fact, it is said that if the substance stains a white shirt, then it can stain your teeth as well. Smoking is a common cause of yellow teeth too, in addition to other tobacco products. Genetics play a role as well. Some people are born with naturally yellowish enamel, or with teeth that have a tendency to stain easily. Just as everything else, aging affects the functionality and the appearance of the teeth and causes the enamel to become thinner and make the teeth appear yellow. The most preventable cause of yellow teeth is poor oral hygiene and can result from the excessive plaque buildup. In addition to yellow teeth, poor oral health can result in bad breath, premature tooth decay, and possible infections from bacteria buildup.
Have Your Dentist Do The Teeth Whitening
While there are many different teeth whitening methods available over-the-counter such as mouthwashes, toothpastes, strips, and light devices. Many of these over-the-counter methods can be found in almost any drugstore or grocery store and are known to be unsafe for many users. At-home whitening kits can be harmful to the protective enamel on your teeth, increase tooth sensitivity, and cause damage to the roots of the teeth. With that said, many experts believe whitening performed in the dentist office is safest, most effective, and lasts longer than any other whitening methods.
In the dental office there are many different kinds of bleaching systems used and each office activates them differently such as heat and light. Some offices offer high-powered lights or lasers to quicken the breakdown process and produce results in a shorter amount of time. Others use light and photolysis for the same effect. Every dentist performs cosmetic whitening differently and making sure you understand the process of the select office you choose is important.
Most in-office whitening treatments only take an hour to do and only need to be performed occasionally to maintain the whiteness of the teeth, whereas at-home treatments often need multiple treatments on a regular basis to maintain the same level of bright white.
Teeth Whitening With Managed Sensitivity
Cosmetic teeth whitening has a reputation for causing increased sensitivity in the patient’s teeth. While this is often a temporary side effect of in-office procedures, at-home whitening remedies can cause long-lasting damage and sensitivity if the products are unsafe or mishandled. At Bismarck Advanced Dental and Implants we aim to keep our patients comfortable while simultaneously helping them achieve the smile of their dreams. With that said some measures we take to eliminate or protect against teeth sensitivity include: using lower concentrations of whitening products for those who already have sensitive teeth, reducing the time the whitening product is on the teeth, and decreasing the amount of whitening treatments for the patients if they experience prolonged sensitivity after the first treatment. We can also add more time between treatments to give the patient’s teeth more time to heal and strengthen.