Teeth whitening treatments have become perhaps the most commonly requested cosmetic dentistry treatment offered in most dental offices today. This treatment is popular with both women and men, and are affordable to almost anyone. Even better, these treatments can be done quickly, allowing even the busiest of patients to take advantage. Professional teeth whitening treatments can offer you very quick results and can change your overall appearance with minimal effort.
How tooth discoloration occurs
The enamel on our teeth naturally becomes worn down as we age. This exposes the yellow dentin underneath, giving our teeth a duller appearance. Additionally, the teeth can become stained in a number of ways as we eat and drink.
When you consume certain foods or beverages such as coffee, wine, dark teas, soda, and even some fruit juices, extrinsic stains are formed on the surfaces of your teeth. This can also occur when you use tobacco products. While these stains can be removed if rinsed or brushed away quickly, when left to set in, they can build up over time.
When you experience oral trauma, you may develop intrinsic stains. These stains affect the teeth in a different way than extrinsic stains and will require more extensive treatment. This type of staining can also occur with excessive fluoride use, as well as the prolonged use of certain antibiotics (such as Tetracycline). In the past, it was believed that this type of staining was untreatable, but advancements in modern dentistry now allow even the most stubborn stains to be camouflaged or removed.
Why professional teeth whitening?
Walk into any drugstore and you will find a number of over-the-counter tooth whitening options. Unfortunately, these methods often provide minimal results and may require multiple treatments before they make a noticeable difference in the shade of your teeth. This makes them far more expensive than professional treatments, which can provide very good results in a relatively short amount of time.
What are the types of professional teeth whitening treatments?
There are two main types of professional whitening treatments available today. For patients who are looking for a noticeable and significant difference in a very short period of time, an in-office treatment is the best option.
The GLO Teeth Whitening Device
Dental technology is changing fast. Every once in a while, a product comes along that is a game changer. There are many teeth whitening products out there but how do you choose? We would like you to rely on Michael Mabry DDS do help you make these decisions. We are using a system from GLO Science that we recommend.
The magic is in the warming heat acceleration! Invented by NYC aesthetic dentist and oral health expert, Dr. Jonathan B. Levine, the GLO Teeth Whitening Device harnesses the power of Guided Light Optics (G.L.O) technology to accelerate your results. Special heat resistors and light reflectors inside the mouthpiece direct the energy of gentle warming heat and safe 470nm LED light into the whitening gel, speeding up the whitening process by surrounding each tooth with more whitening power.
This patented, one-of-a-kind technology is available only from GLO Science and is registered with the FDA. It is the same technology used in thousands of dental practices.
Dr. Mabry can also provide you with a professional in-home whitening kit if you are pressed for time. Professional GLO technology in the comfort of your own home to use alone or after in-office whitening for ongoing maintenance. GLO Science guarantees you the whitest, brightest smile in the dental office and at home.
Are over-the-counter whitening strips dangerous?
Over-the-counter whitening treatments can be dangerous to your teeth. As with other medications, just because you can buy it without a prescription does not mean that it cannot be harmful when used incorrectly. In some cases, these products can irritate your lips and gums, as well as be damaging your tooth enamel. Overuse of these whitening products can even cause your teeth to develop a bluish tint, or have uneven coloration (often referred to as “technicolor teeth). Even if you do choose to use an over-the-counter whitening solution, it is important that you do so under the supervision of a professional. Dr. Mabry can ensure that you are using the correct product for your teeth and that you are using it correctly. If you’d rather avoid the possibility of side effects, consider choosing one of the many professional take-home kits available from our office.
No matter which method of at-home teeth whitening you choose, follow these tips for best results:
- Start your at-home teeth whitening treatments soon after having your teeth professionally cleaned. This ensures that all of the plaque has been removed from your teeth, and will not interfere with your whitening process.
- Make sure that you brush and floss your teeth before applying your at-home whitening solution.
- Do not eat or drink (except water) for a minimum of two hours after you have used your whitening product
If you have existing dental work, it is very important that you skip the over-the-counter treatments and check with Dr. Mabry about the teeth whitening procedures that will be best for you. Dental veneers, crowns, and bridges, as well as dental bonding, may be damaged by over-the-counter bleaching products and should be avoided. Dr. Mabry will be able to advise you on the best options for whitening your teeth.
What about whitening toothpaste and floss?
Every toothpaste helps to whiten your teeth somewhat by removing the deposits of plaque and accumulation of surface debris from the tooth surface. There are only a few kinds of toothpaste that contain the concentration of peroxide or other chemical bleaching agents and abrasives that are necessary to provide you with noticeable results. This is because toothpaste could be swallowed, and the concentration of these potentially harmful elements must be kept low to ensure consumer safety.
Some teeth whitening toothpaste does contain a higher concentration of highly abrasive agents such as silica, aluminum oxide, and calcium carbonate. Baking soda is also a popular ingredient in many whitening kinds of toothpaste. Unfortunately, overuse of these products can seriously damage your tooth enamel. Continued daily use may even wear away the enamel more rapidly than usual, actually increasing the amount of discoloration you notice. These highly abrasive elements can also damage or dull the surface of any dental restorations you have, including dental crowns and porcelain veneers.
It may be tempting to dismiss teeth whitening dental floss as a silly idea, but this is one whitening product worth using. Dental floss that has been specially designed to whiten the teeth can remove stains in areas between the teeth and below the gum line where traditional whitening pastes and gels cannot reach. To do so, the floss is made with abrasive agents such as silica that will help to scrub the stains from your teeth.