Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in the United States. Almost 90% of patients inquired about tooth whitening during a dental visit, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
So what's all the fuss about? Is teeth whitening worth it? Should I whiten my teeth at home or seek professional treatment? Let's take a look at these questions as we examine what goes into achieving a beautiful, bright smile.
It is a sad fact of life that it is natural for teeth to become discolored over time for a variety of reasons, including:
Food and beverages. Coffee, tea and red wine are some of the beverages that can stain your teeth. They all contain pigments that strongly attach to the enamel in your teeth.
Smoking is a major factor in developing stained teeth. The nicotine and tar found in tobacco both contribute to this staining. Nicotine turns into a yellow color when exposed to oxygen.
Tooth injury. Sometimes a tooth will change color when it is injured. The tooth protects itself by forming more dentin, the tooth layer found underneath your enamel on the surface.
Some medications can discolor teeth, such as certain high blood pressure medications, antihistamines and antibiotics.
The most common factor in tooth discoloration is the aging process. This is because the enamel naturally grows thinner, resulting in the darker dentin layer showing through.
Zoom teeth whitening is popular because it works very quickly and is safe and effective for most patients. We at Aesthetic Dentistry of Rockland County use Zoom System for in office teeth whitening.
The treatment begins with the placement of a protective covering over the lips and gums so that only teeth are exposed. We will then apply a special whitening gel onto the surface of your teeth to remain in contact for about 15 minutes. Next, a lamp is used combined with hydrogen peroxide whitening gel to remove any discoloration from the teeth. Additional gel will be applied at periodic intervals, with the entire process lasting about 45 minutes to an hour.
At the completion of the process, your dentist will apply another gel to your teeth to help prevent sensitivity. Before leaving, you will be provided with a touch-up kit and instructions regarding foods that are safe to eat and drink so that your teeth do not become stained again. This is a good time to mention that it is helpful to receive a professional teeth cleaning prior to whitening, as the process is more effective when your teeth are as clean as possible.
If you are not prepared to have your teeth professionally whitened, there are some alternatives, although there are drawbacks. Some options include:
Teeth whitening strips. The strips are soaked in a bleaching agent and adhere to your teeth. They are generally left in contact with the teeth for about one hour.
Whitening toothpaste. These are fairly inexpensive, costing not much more than regular toothpaste. They often contain whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. They don't offer the same results as other products, but they can make a minor improvement when you only have a small amount of discoloration.
Whitening strips for sensitive teeth. Some of these feature natural ingredients like coconut oil, lemon peel oil, sage oil and salt.
There is a huge difference between over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments and the results that you can obtain from a dental professional at a dentist office.
Better results.There are basically two types of staining: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic staining happens when your teeth enamel is involved, while intrinsic staining occurs inside of the tooth. At-home products only work on extrinsic staining. Professional teeth whitening treatments are able to remove both types.
Faster treatment.Although at-home products can lighten your teeth a few shades, it may take weeks or months to obtain results. A professional teeth whitening treatment can whiten your teeth up to 10 shades in only one quick appointment.
Whitening without sensitivity.People commonly complain that at-home whitening products often leave their teeth feeling sensitive afterward. Professional teeth whitening treatments will not cause any discomfort or sensitivity.
Are you looking for teeth whitening in Rockland County? Contact our Aesthetic Dentistry of Rockland County office today to speak to schedule a teeth whitening appointment for you so that you can quickly achieve the smile of your dreams.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at(845) 735-7500to schedule your appointment over the phone.
“The staff was very accommodating and friendly. They made me comfortable during my visit and left me satisfied with their knowledge and recommendations moving forward.”
- Dom Bonfiglio
“What a great place! Always clean, well organized and efficient, also easy to schedule with. The staff are super friendly and the dental care is better than I used to get in the city. I would really recommend the Pearl River office!”
- Anna Soloveva
“Excellent! Excellent! service ...root canal ...did not feel a thing. Everyone is professional and pleasant. Office is clean and inviting! Dentist is caring and skilled. Hygienist is excellent too!”
- Lisa M