The holiday festivities are just around the corner, and one of the best ways to prepare for the celebrations is with a teeth whitening treatment. One of the first things that people see is your smile, so you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t causing a distraction with stained or discolored teeth. From in-office whitening treatments to at-home kits, there are plenty of ways to get a whiter smile without breaking the bank!
Your teeth will naturally start to change color over time. Every piece of food or drink you put in your mouth will either build up your tooth enamel or wear it down. Many products contain acidic ingredients that contribute to tooth staining and erosion.
For example, juices contain citric acid, much like citrus fruits do. Because this substance is an acid, it is abrasive on the teeth, stripping away minerals in the teeth when you eat and drink. Sodas have a different type of acid called “carbonic acid” that is responsible for that biting fizz so many people love. However, it’s an acid, and it takes minerals from your teeth. Wines, coffees, teas and alcohols contain citric, carbonic and other acids that cause damage.
Even sugar can do this—in any type of food or drink—if it mixes with mouth bacteria. That can create an acidic substance called plaque, which erodes the teeth easily. The erosion from all these acids is what allows cavities to form and tooth staining to occur. When small areas of the teeth are missing their minerals, foods and drinks (especially those with dyes) fill up those spaces, making the teeth look dull, yellow, or gray. This may be happening to you, or you may have thin enamel making the internal layers show through. However, you can still achieve that whiter smile with the right whitening products.
Many patients wonder why their “whitening” toothpaste isn’t seeming to whiten their teeth at all. It’s the ingredients you must pay attention to in toothpastes to know if they are actually whitening or simply cleaning the teeth.
Adding a whitening toothpaste to your daily oral hygiene routine is an easy way to maintain your white smile between dental cleaning appointments. Toothpastes contain abrasives that scrub the teeth while removing food particles to get that whiter smile. However, toothpastes won’t actually change the color of your teeth unless they have ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Check labels for these ingredients to see if your toothpaste truly is one that will get you a whiter smile. When present, however, the low concentration of whitening agents in toothpastes simply aren’t potent enough to brighten moderate to deeply stained teeth.
This is when you want to upgrade to other whitening products or professional dental whitening. Gels and whitening strips contain various levels of the same whitening ingredients. For consumers, you only want to buy products that have the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance printed on the label. This means that the products have been deemed safe and effective for cleaning the teeth and/or whitening them.
If you go the way of gels and whitening strips that can be bought in-store, you will limit yourself to minimal whitening power. Only specific whitening products can be sold in stores, and these will always have limited whitening agents in them. Look to professional-grade whitening products from a dentist to get a truly whiter smile in less time.
Have a holiday coming up and you don’t have weeks to devote to teeth whitening? Consider getting an in-office treatment to obtain that whiter smile! Many over-the-counter whitening treatments can take weeks or months to give you a whiter smile. At-home treatments may take 1-2 weeks. When you’re in a bind, consider Zoom whitening. This is an especially sought-after treatment, as it only takes 1 hour to complete and you leave the office with a whiter smile that is shades lighter than it was an hour earlier.
We will first clean your teeth to remove any leftover food particles. We then gently cover your lips and gums to prevent exposure to the tooth whitening mixture. A hydrogen peroxide gel will then be applied to your teeth and left to sit for 15 minutes. Zoom brand LED lights will shine on the teeth, allowing hydrogen peroxide to dissolve stains and discoloration on your teeth. In total there are 3, 15-minute treatments that will leave your teeth shining. Every patient leaves with a touch up kit for a whiter smile between visits as well as instructions for maintaining healthy, white teeth.
Just don’t have time to come into the office? We know the holidays can be a busy time, which is why we also have created at-home kits to whiten your teeth from the comfort of your own home. At-home kits won’t provide you with the same experience as an in-office Zoom treatment would, but these kits are still amazingly effective at getting you a whiter smile in a short amount of time.
At-home kits include a fitting for custom-made teeth-whitening trays that you will get from our dental office. Custom fits help bring the whitening agents close to your teeth. You simply place the bleaching agent on the tray and pop it in your mouth for an allotted time. At-home bleaching treatments are convenient for busy patients but they can take a few weeks before any noticeable difference takes effect.
Deeply stained tooth enamel can only be safely and effectively whitened by the professional dental bleaching procedure offered by Dr. Robert Berry. These can be completed in a single visit, and the results are visible right away. Plus, your results will last ages longer than whitening toothpastes, gels and strips that you buy at the store. To schedule your holiday appointment to get that whiter smile, call Mountain Aire Dentistry at (303) 731-7755 for your consultation!