Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures in the United States today. While a whitening toothpaste can combat some surface stains, professional methods also remove intrinsic stains that have penetrated the superficial enamel, or the protective surface covering teeth. Here’s a closer look at how it works and what methods are available.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Coffee, tea, sodas, nicotine — these are just a few of the items that can stain your teeth. Additionally, as you get the older, the enamel of your teeth wears down, revealing the yellow-colored dentin underneath. Teeth whitening substances rely on an active agent, either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, to scrub out these stains.
Professional teeth whitening is safe but does have some side effects. You may experience heightened sensitivity, which should gradually fade. Excessive whitening may also weaken enamel. You should also be aware that whitening can’t change unnatural elements like fillings, crowns, or dentures.
Why You Should See a Dentist
Always visit a dentist for teeth whitening. The materials they use are stronger and faster than store-bought methods like whitening strips. Additionally, since the process involves serious chemicals, it’s safer to let a professional handle them.
Some dentists offer so-called “chair-side” procedures in their offices using a UV light. First, a special whitening gel is applied to the teeth. The UV light then activates the gel’s whitening agent.
Another option is custom trays. Impressions are taken of your teeth to create a custom-made retainer. At home, you simply apply whitening gel to the retainer’s inside and wear it while sleeping. Tray whitening allows you greater flexibility in how white you want to take your smile. If you find yourself experiencing teeth sensitivity, you can also take a break and continue the process later. Many patients prefer it for this reason.
Kaimuki Dental Group offers custom tray teeth whitening to residents of Honolulu, HI. These professionals know that each patient’s smile is different and will provide you with the personalized attention needed to achieve a more brilliant grin. Known for their top-quality services and products, they pride themselves on giving their patients the best care possible. You can request an appointment online or by calling (808) 737-7905. To connect further, find the staff on Facebook.