If you feel that your smile has lost its luster, you are not alone. Professional teeth whitening is one of the most popular ways to transform your smile. Teeth whitening can lighten your teeth up to 10 shades in a single, hour-long session, leaving you looking great and feeling even better.
How do teeth stain?
Stains form on teeth on one of two layers:
- Extrinsic: Extrinsic stains occur on the hard, outside enamel layer of the tooth. Outside elements like eating dark or highly pigmented foods, using tobacco or drinking coffee, soda or tea are common culprits for extrinsic tooth staining.
- Intrinsic: Intrinsic staining occurs on the softer, inner dentin layer of the teeth. Intrinsic stains are usually caused by trauma to the teeth, too much fluoride or the use of certain medications. Sometimes, teeth yellowing occurs due to the outer enamel layer thinning and wearing down over time, allowing the yellow-colored dentin to show through.
A teeth whitening session is normally about an hour long, performed in three 15-minute long increments. First, your dentist cleans your teeth and prepares them for the whitening agents. The teeth are sectioned off from the gum tissue to prevent any irritation. Your dentist applies the whitening gel to the teeth and uses a special whitening light to speed up the processing time. The whitening agents are cleaned off and reapplied between the 15-minute segments. The results of a teeth whitening session are immediately noticeable.
How can I keep my teeth white after a session?
The best way to avoid teeth staining is to avoid the elements that stain them. However, not everyone is willing to cut these things out of their lives completely. In this case, try the following tips:
- When drinking coffee, tea or soda, try to drink it all at once rather than sipping it throughout the day. This limits the time the acids in these beverages have contact with the teeth, cutting down on staining.
- Brush after every drink or meal. If you cannot brush, swish with water to knock away any food particles.
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once. If you use mouthwash, swish for at least 30 seconds and do not rinse your mouth with water afterward to give the mouthwash adequate time to work.
- See your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental examinations and cleanings.
For more information about teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Alex W. Ramos, D.D.S. and Dr. Milagros Diaz, D.D.S. at Infinity Dental Arts in Indian Trail, NC. Call (704) 218-2132 to schedule your teeth whitening appointment today!