Having whiter teeth can make you feel younger and more attractive. Teeth can become discolored as you age due to tooth enamel erosion and the absorption of pigments from the food and drinks that you ingest. The discoloration can be treated, but the selected cosmetic dental application is often based on the source of the dental staining.
Here are a few teeth-whitening applications and the types of discoloration for which they are usually effective:
Dental bleaching products typically use peroxide to bleach stains from the teeth. These products are most effective with stains that have been absorbed.
Over-the-counter whitening kits can be effectively used to bleach away some discoloration, but they must be used exactly as directed. Also, the products may have to be used for a prolonged period.
At-home Kits from the Dentist
In addition to products that can be purchased over-the-counter, there are bleaching products that are offered by your dentist. At-home products that are supplied by your dentist are usually more specific to your mouth and whitening needs. Often, a specialized tray is created from a mold of your mouth so that the whitening solution is applied to your teeth in a precise manner. Also, the whitening process can be monitored by the dental professional, as at-home kits from the dentist, like over-the-counter products, may require weeks of use in order to achieve the desired results.
Professional dental bleaching products are often applied by the dentist in his or her office. These products usually produce the fastest results.
The dentist protects the gums and other soft tissues of the mouth before applying the whitening solution to the teeth. Once the solution is in place, the dentist exposes the teeth to a special light that helps to intensify the bleaching effect. In many cases, the color of the teeth is several shades lighter after the first application.
Dental veneers cover discoloration. In some instances, such as when discoloration results from medication, trauma, or congenital defects, dental bleaches are not effective. Additionally, the bleaches will not lighten the natural color of dentin, which may be exposed as tooth enamel thins.
Dental veneers are slender pieces of resin or porcelain that are applied to the front of the teeth. Instead of the discolored tooth enamel, only the white veneers are seen when you laugh, smile, or speak.
To learn more ways to whiten your teeth, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your area, such as Frederic J Mrugala DDS.