For most of us, a stunning smile seems to be the only thing that makes us feel content about our appearance. It doesn't always happen naturally though, particularly if your teeth are stained or discolored. If the appearance of your teeth is your primary concern, there are options available. The most popular solution for those who are worried about the appearance of their teeth is teeth whitening, which is now offered in the majority of dentist clinics across the nation.

However, teeth whitening should be done professionally for a safe and outstanding outcome. At The Whittier Dentist, we take the time to inspect and examine each patient to make sure the recommendations we make are the right ones for them. Consequently, if you or someone you know is concerned about tooth discoloration, you can contact us for the ideal teeth whitening remedy.

A Brief Overview of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a type of cosmetic dental operation that involves removing discoloration and stains from teeth. Our teeth endure a great deal; they age, discolor, stain, and suffer trauma when they are injured. These elements can cause teeth to get stained and develop an unpleasant shade. Teeth discoloration and staining are brought on by the following things and depend on the smoothness, nature, and thickness of the enamel:

  • The meals and beverages consumed
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Intrinsic stains caused by increased fluoride exposure during tooth growth
  • Trauma
  • Age genetics
  • Some medications

Most teeth stains can be eliminated with good dental hygiene, in-office whitening, and whitening agents. The high concentration of the bleaching agents used during in-office whitening makes it the most thorough and effective teeth whitening method. In-office cleaning consists of several stages, such as:

Assessment and Preparation

A dentist would not begin the teeth whitening procedure simply because you requested it. They would need to assess the general condition of your mouth and teeth. Examining the teeth for stains, cavities, and jaw health is all part of the evaluation process. Generally, the type and nature of stains dictate how much bleaching is required and if the stains would improve from bleaching. Teeth stains come in a variety of forms, including:

Extrinsic teeth stains—These types of stains appear on the teeth's surface. Tobacco usage, wine, food, and pigmented substances are common sources of extrinsic staining. Extrinsic teeth stains are simple to remove with both in-office and at-home teeth whitening techniques.

Intrinsic stains—These are classified as deeper stains that can be seen beneath the tooth's surface. Intrinsic stains arise as a result of enamel discoloration, particularly while teeth are developing and exposed to high fluoride levels. The stains are more difficult to remove using both at-home and in-office techniques.

Age-related stains—This kind of stain includes both extrinsic and intrinsic teeth stains. In this case, the dentin normally turns yellow with time and gets more visible as the enamel deteriorates with age, giving the teeth of an elderly person a yellowish appearance.

Your dentist would also assess the condition of your teeth to ascertain whether problems like plaque and cavities need to be treated before the whitening. Sensitivity to teeth whitening could be caused by receding gums and decayed teeth.

Additionally, your dentist would take pictures of the teeth so that you have a record of their condition both before and after the procedure. The dentist could use an existing scale to compare the color of your teeth. Most dentists would take impressions of the teeth to enable them to make a tray for an at-home whitening after the operation.

 The Whitening Process

After the examination and preparation, the dentist will place a dental dam over the gums to shield them from the bleaching agent's potential harm. A dental dam can be made of either rubber or gel. To protect such sensitive tissues, a dentist could put on various protection materials like gauze, face bib, eyeglasses, and cheek retractors during the procedure.

After that, he or she would administer the bleaching agent—typically hydrogen peroxide—to the teeth that need to be whitened. The solution stays on the teeth for around thirty to sixty minutes. For best results, a dentist would administer the whitening agent several times. In certain cases, the dentist would decide to use either a bleaching laser or light to boost the bleaching agent's effect.

Your dentist would keep an eye on the whitening process until the teeth retain the correct shade or the whitening solution can no longer be safely applied to the teeth. He/she would wash away the chemical and take out the protective coating. In some instances, the dentist would recommend fluoride as a treatment option to prevent the sensitivity of the affected teeth.

At this point in the treatment, the dentist can't accurately predict the outcome. Normally, the hydrogen peroxide solution used in teeth whitening causes dehydration to the teeth, making them appear brighter instantly. The teeth could appear darker once they have rehydrated.

 Post-Whitening Care

The teeth won't retain their new shade following the whitening process. They would stain and darken due to natural causes like aging, rehydration, diet, and lifestyle choices. Therefore, you need to avoid taking beverages and foods that can discolor or stain your teeth. Such foods and drinks include grapes, wine, tea, coffee, smoking, tomato paste, and juice to name a few. Your dentist could also give you at-home cleaning supplies to help you keep your teeth whiter and healthy.

Follow-Up Visits

Your dentist would advise you to return for follow-up sessions to evaluate the progress of your in-office and at-home treatment. As previously stated, it is difficult to know the outcome of a procedure simply on the instant appearance of teeth following treatment. During the follow-up session, your dentist will assess the current color shade of the teeth. If you prefer having a brighter smile, he or she would recommend additional whitening treatments. However, not all teeth can go past a specific shade. For instance, whitening products won't work if your teeth are stained due to a genetic condition. Your dentist will also address any issues you've had since the teeth whitening process or as a result of using at-home whitening products.

Risks Associated with Teeth Whitening

Many people suffer from dental issues such as tooth stains, discoloration, and misaligned, deformed, worn out, or chipped teeth. Numerous options are available through cosmetic dentistry to take full advantage of or simply enjoy a better smile and look. For instance, it could be challenging for someone to grin as much as they would want if they have stained teeth.

Tooth discoloration has an impact on both their social lives and their self-esteem. Fortunately, teeth whitening methods are available to offer such individuals a second shot in life. In addition, most teeth whitening methods are risk-free. The following are some of the risks associated with whitening of teeth:

  • Sore gums, particularly when using at-home whitening techniques
  • Sensitive teeth in the immediate aftermath of treatment
  • Consuming staining foods
  • Staining as a result of poor dental hygiene
  • Bleached gums
  • Smoking

Teeth whitening would be dangerous for certain people. These groups consist of:

  • Individuals who have sensitive gums or teeth
  • Your pulp or dentine is exposed
  • Children under the age of 16
  • You have restorative materials or white fillings in your mouth (these can't be whitened once they're stained)
  • Acid erosion
  • There are flaws in the growth of the enamel
  • Individuals with hydrogen peroxide allergies
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Individuals who have receding gum
  • You have poor dental hygiene
  • Tooth decay

Teeth whitening is a temporary cosmetic treatment. You could only extend the duration your teeth remain white by practicing good dental hygiene and using at-home whitening products like toothpaste. With regular and popular maintenance, your teeth should stay white for 6 to 12 months. After that, you will have to make another appointment for teeth whitening.

The Advantages of Teeth Whitening

Discolored and stained teeth can make it difficult to smile or even socialize. For this reason, many teeth whitening treatments could be able to enhance your look and raise your self-esteem. When the teeth have become discolored, you know that brushing them might not be enough to get rid of the stains or bring back the natural sparkle of your teeth.

Because of this, you need to look for professional whitening assistance from a reputable dentist. He or she will help bring back the natural appearance of your teeth and remove any plaque and bacteria that could have been hiding between your teeth. This will assist you in minimizing the number of dental problems that would have negatively impacted your overall health.

Teeth whitening is an inexpensive and efficient technique to brighten your smile. But since cosmetic dentistry is generally expensive, few patients are able to afford it. Nevertheless, therapies like teeth whitening are reasonably priced. They provide everyone with an equal opportunity to have a better and healthier smile after they have gone through long periods of misery. Furthermore, the most common form of cosmetic dentistry across the country is teeth whitening. It enables the affected patients to take advantage of instant benefits without having to wait anymore.

Another advantage of teeth whitening would be that it enhances your self-esteem. Self-confidence means believing, being at ease with yourself, and being aware of your worth. Anyone who exudes confidence is desirable, productive, and more outgoing. Being self-confident will make you happy. If your self-esteem is holding you back from reaching your full potential, you might want to think about getting your teeth whitened to boost your self-esteem.

Also, teeth whitening can work to stop the development of microorganisms that can cause gingivitis as well as tooth decay. Harmful bacteria often hide under discolored teeth. And before you are aware of it, you are suffering from gum infections as well as other dental-related problems including decaying teeth. Maintaining clean, healthy teeth is a sure method to avoid dental issues of this nature. A teeth-whitening treatment should be used as the first step for someone whose teeth have already been stained. After that, you can start your journey toward improving general and dental health.

And finally, if you have been struggling with esteem issues due to discolored or stained teeth, teeth whitening can be the ideal option for you. The way you feel about yourself can be impacted by dental issues. The good news is that once you decide to hire professionals to handle your dental problems, you can quickly rediscover your sense of worth.

Therefore, if you're hoping for a fast and simple way to boost how you feel or look but have a tight budget, teeth whitening can be the ideal option. Your outward beauty will improve as a result, and your general health will also benefit greatly. Keep in mind that it's an instant fix for anyone concerned by their discolored or stained teeth. Therefore, if you don't want to go through it again, you need to commit to a long-term remedy

The advantages of dealing with a qualified dentist would be that not only do you get your teeth cleaned and whitened but you will also have access to a variety of other dental procedures and recommendations that may help you to sustain the outcomes for a long time. For example, you learn the advantages of daily tooth cleaning and flossing as well as frequent trips to your dentist for regular checkups.

Treatment Alternatives Available for Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the simplest cosmetic dental procedure now available, as was already mentioned. The technique mostly uses bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. These whitening solutions lessen the appearance of blemishes and produce the best shade of your teeth by dissolving the discolorations into small bits.

Sadly, not every type of tooth responds well to teeth whitening. This is why it's critical to consult with the dentist before you can make any decisions. Also, keep in mind that teeth whitening might not be an effective way to treat all types of tooth discoloration. For instance, veneers, crowns, caps, and fillings might not be compatible with teeth-whitening products. Some tooth discolorations, particularly those brought on by medications, could be challenging to treat. The good news is that there are several teeth-whitening alternatives available, and any individual is free to select the one they believe would work best for them. If someone wants to get their white grin back, they have four main options to choose from:

Using Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You can purchase bleaching solutions over-the-counter to help whiten your teeth. Currently, there are numerous such goods accessible in local grocery shops as well as online retailers. Some are offered as strips, while others are toothpaste tubes. However, the number of bleaching agents they use would be considerably less concentrated than what a qualified dentist will use in his or her clinic. In that situation, the products might not be as effective as those available from a dentist's facility.

Again, you should exercise caution when purchasing an over-the-counter teeth-whitening item. Your dentist's advice would be of great value to you. Also, look for ADA-compliant products. Such products have been thoroughly examined and verified to be both effective and safe for use.

Stain-Removing Toothpaste

Several toothpaste brands on the current market are geared to help clear surface stains from teeth. All that's needed is a light abrasive to remove the stains from the affected tooth. However, kinds of toothpaste designed specifically for teeth whitening are available, and the best of these products are ADA-approved. You should be able to spot a stain-removal seal on the toothpaste package. Unlike regular toothpaste, this one also contains polishing ingredients. In this situation, they could be used safely to effectively remove stains from the teeth.

The advantages of choosing ADA-approved teeth whitening solutions are that they are safe to use and would not cause any adverse effects that can also affect the teeth or your general well-being. Additionally, they differ from other bleaches, which could damage the color of your teeth. Once more, bleaches don't tackle the root of the problem, instead, they just remove surface stains from the teeth.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Treatment

Home whitening techniques are procedures that you could always carry out independently at your home. Before using any of these techniques, you should see a professional dentist for an assessment and consultation. The dentist would spot any issues that are already present or could develop as a result of at-home whitening products. If your dentist believes they're appropriate, he or she would suggest the following:

  • Whitening gels and strips: Using a brush, you can apply peroxide-based whitening gels straight to the surface of your teeth. These products come with usage instructions, which must be carefully followed by the user. A whitening strip is a thin adhesive strip coated with peroxide that you'll need to apply to the teeth. Whitening strips and gels begin to work within a few days of application. Your teeth could retain the white shade for up to 4 months after applying them
  • Whitening toothpaste has polishing ingredients and whitening compounds to remove stains from your teeth. They're more effective in whitening teeth than other regular kinds of toothpaste. While in-office bleaching solutions have a deeper impact, whitening toothpaste can nonetheless make the teeth a little bit brighter
  • Whitening rinses are a type of long-lasting mouthwash that incorporates whitening ingredients. Swish the whitening rinse in the mouth for sixty seconds before brushing the teeth twice a day. It could take up to 12 weeks to notice any improvements because the rinse only comes into contact with the teeth for a short period
  • Tray whitening: Your dentist would create a personalized tray from an impression of the teeth. These whitening trays are loaded with a hydrogen peroxide solution. You would then be required to wear them for several hours per day, depending on the level of discoloration and the color shade you want to achieve. You would also put on the trays for 2 to 3 weeks to notice the results. If your teeth are excessively stained, you would need to put them on the whitening tray for a longer period.

In-Office Professional Teeth Whitening

This type of teeth whitening is performed in a dentist's clinic and it's also known as chairside bleaching. The process is straightforward, effective, and involves only one dental appointment. Your dentist would make sure that the gums are completely shielded from the whitening agent's damage throughout the procedure. It is possible to do so by using a protective gel or a rubber shield that is put to the gums. The bleaching substance is then administered to the afflicted teeth.

The benefit of in-office teeth whitening is that the individual can get the best results in a lot less time. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been dealing with discolored or stained teeth for a long time, it will only take a little time before you notice a considerable change in your teeth's appearance. Again, the operation is carried out under the close monitoring of a specialist. It implies that nothing could go wrong throughout the operation, and hence only minor side effects are to be expected.

Most people prefer to have their teeth whitened in a dental office by a professional dentist, especially those who have tried and failed over-the-counter whitening treatments. It's also a good option for individuals who don't want to deal with the trouble of at-home teeth whitening. The main disadvantage of this treatment method is that it would be more costly than the other solutions mentioned above. In some cases, the expense of having the treatment done in the dentist's clinic is more expensive and not always covered by health insurance. Again, as with the other alternatives discussed above, you might not receive the right shade after your first dental appointment. This implies that you'll need to try again or try more than once to get the perfect shade.

Find a Teeth Whitening Dentist Near Me

Tooth discoloration can hinder you from living and enjoying your life to the fullest. However, there are several teeth whitening options you can take advantage of today. Teeth whitening would raise your confidence and self-esteem while also preventing further damage to the teeth. If you're in Whittier, CA, and need teeth whitening services, feel free to contact The Whittier Dentist at 562-632-1223. We have experienced and skilled dentists who will counsel you on your available options.