People often ask members of our team, “How do I whiten my teeth?” Well, that depends on a number of different factors, from the causes of your discoloration to the severity of your teeth stains. However, we do offer cosmetic treatments designed to either remove teeth stains or mask them. What option will work best for your smile?
Frequently Asked Questions About Whitening Your Teeth
Question: Why do my teeth become stained?
Answer: There are actually a number of different reasons your teeth can become stained. The most common is related to the foods and drinks we consume. Foods and drinks high in sugar and other starches can promote plaque buildup, which makes discoloration more apparent. In addition, foods and drinks with staining agents, such as berries, coffee, tea, soda, red wine, or fruit juice can make discoloration appear. Other causes include smoking, injury to the teeth, tetracycline use, and fluorosis.
Question: How does teeth whitening work?
Answer: After an initial office treatment we send the patient home with a set of trays and a powerful bleaching gel. The patient fills the trays with gel and wears them for the amount of time the doctor recommends. After a week to ten days the patient returns for a final office treatment. The remaining gels and the trays can be used for touchups later on.
Question: Can I use OTC solutions?
Answer: You can, but know that whitening strips, toothpastes, and rinses simply can’t offer the same level of whitening as a professional cosmetic treatment. In addition, the results rarely last very long.
Question: What if I have permanent discoloration?
Answer: Permanent discoloration, also known as intrinsic stains, forms below the enamel and may not respond to traditional teeth whitening. However, we can mask these stains with a lifelike restoration (porcelain veneers) or with composite resin (dental bonding).