One of the keys to a perfect smile is having teeth that are free from blemishes and stains. This is easier said than done, as there are many factors in play that can affect the color of our teeth. Inadequate or excessive fluoride intake, improper development, dietary trends, the weathering that comes with age, and cavities can all change our teeth from their naturally off-white hue to yellow, brown, or mottled. In addition to dental cleaning and endodontic work, tooth whitening treatments can undo years or even decades of discoloration, restoring or even enhancing the pallor of teeth.
With recent advances in bleaching technology—most notably, the patented Zoom! ® whitening treatment— tooth whitening has emerged as a simple and effective way to improve the cosmetic appeal of one’s smile. If you are interested in learning more about tooth whitening, keep reading for help deciding if teeth whitening is right for you.
Tooth Whitening Is Similar to Bleaching Hair.
The process of teeth whitening is accomplished when a bleaching agent, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and urea), is applied to the surface of the tooth. The bleaching agent disintegrates the stains, making them easier to remove and exposing the naturally white enamel underneath. This procedure is generally pain-free and can be performed in-office at a single appointment.
Not all Tooth Whitening Techniques Are Created Equal
Using a whitening toothpaste is the cheapest way to whiten teeth. It should be noted, though, that these types of toothpaste can be effective in stain removal, but they do not change tooth color. Over-the-counter bleaching products, which can be purchased at any pharmacy, come in the form of a gel or a strip that is temporarily placed over the teeth. The quickest and most effective whitening method, chairside bleaching, can be accomplished only in a dentist’s office. After applying an insulating substance to your gums, your dentist will administer a concentrated bleaching solution to your teeth. It’s important to have this performed by a professional dentist to ensure there is no damage to your enamel or gums when applying the tooth whitening products.
3. Zoom! ® Tooth Whitening Is Even More Potent Than Traditional Whitening Methods.
Zoom! ® teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that is easy to perform and produces results in an hour or less. With Zoom! ® teeth whitening, your dentist will activate a hydrogen peroxide hydrogel using a special ultraviolet light, which breaks the peroxide into hydroxyl radicals that combat and disintegrate the stains on the teeth.
4. Whitening Teeth Is a Relatively Fast Process.
When performing your teeth whitening at home, the initial whitening takes about seven to 10 days, an hour at a time. We recommend doing a touch-up once every two months, as your teeth will not maintain their whiteness if treatment does not continue at regular intervals. When you come to the office for our Zoom tooth whitening treatment, we can perform the entire treatment during your appointment and whiten your smile up to 8 shades in about an hour.
5. Not Every Tooth Can Be Whitened Through Treatment.
It may not be possible for an individual to whiten every discolored tooth. Tooth whitening can be ineffective on teeth with tawny or gray hues. Crowns, fillings, veneers, and other types of dental implants will not be damaged by teeth whitening products, but they will not whiten nearly as much as the other teeth will. If you are unsure if your teeth can be whitened, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Hamill and let him examine you to determine if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening.
6. Above All, the Key to White Teeth Is Maintenance.
Patients often choose to supplement and maintain whitening treatments by using whitening kits at home. These kits can be bought at a pharmacy, but a dentist can customize kits to perfectly fit patients’ teeth, enhancing the effectiveness of the kits. Our office can make an impression of your teeth, formulate a mold from that impression, and use the mold to create a custom whitening tray designed specifically for your teeth. Because at-home dental care can be complicated, it is essential to thoroughly follow all directions for wearing the teeth whitening trays and applying the gel containing the bleaching agent to the inside of the trays.
Teeth whitening is a trendy treatment offered by most dentists, and Zoom! ® whitening is gaining in popularity as a faster way to achieve maximal bleaching results. If you want to take the extra step to refine your smile, our office would be happy to examine your teeth and determine your eligibility for tooth whitening treatments. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with Dr. Hamill. We welcome the opportunity to put a smile on your face.
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