Across the world, dental patients are longing for sparkling, white smiles, and are making teeth whitening one of the most popular cosmetic procedures available! Dental whitening solutions seem to be available on every corner, from over-the-counter drugstore whitening kits to professional whitening treatments offered at dental offices.
Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?
Tooth discoloration occurs over time as pigmented particles collect on the surface of teeth, occupying the microscopic pockets in the enamel. The teeth staining that results from this comes in a variety of hues from yellow-brown to gray. Some common causes of tooth discoloration include the frequent consumption of coffee, tea, red wine and the use of tobacco products.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Whitening products contain a peroxide-based solution reacts with the stain-causing particles on teeth, breaking them into even smaller pieces that can easily be rinsed away from the enamel.
Take Home Solutions v. In-Office Whitening
While the teeth whitening products found in pharmacies and retail stores contain the same chemicals as professional products, the over-the-counter ingredients are typically not as concentrated as those used in dental offices. This difference makes whitening your teeth at home more affordable, but the results are less dramatic, take longer to appear and are more difficult to maintain.
Professional-grade products, on the other hand, are generally more expensive at the outset, but the effects are immediate. In-office whitening treatments administered by a dentist can whiten teeth up to eight shades, and these results usually last several months before another treatment is required.
A dental whitening appointment typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes and the process is carefully monitored by trained professionals. Kits for home use typically require several months of consistent use, which can mean purchasing multiple kits. This disproportion in results can make the overall cost of a professional whitening session comparable to at-home treatments.
Caring for Your Whitened Smile
There are lots of things you can do to make sure your whitening results last as long as possible, and this will vary from person to person (six months to two years or even longer). First of all, please maintain your usual, conscientious routine of brushing and flossing every day, and keep up with your regular schedule of professional cleanings at the dental office. Avoid foods and beverages that stain, including red wine, tea and coffee. If you smoke, use your newly whitened teeth as an impetus to quit — a good idea in any event! A minor touch-up every so often, either at home or at the dental office, can keep your smile bright and beautiful for years.
Are you interested in teeth whitening? Call our East Brunswick, NJ office at (732) 254-2550 for more information!
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