What is teeth whitening?
Also known as teeth bleaching, teeth whitening is a procedure that removes stains and discolorations from your teeth. You may be familiar with over-the-counter whitening products, which often produce little to no whitening results. The lackluster effects of these products is due to their low concentration of bleaching formula, which often only remove minor surface stains. For bleaching that penetrates both the enamel and dentin, professional teeth whitening offers your best chance for dramatic, lasting results.
What causes discolored teeth?
Your teeth can become stained for a number of reasons, including:
- Food and drinks: Eating or drinking dark substances such as coffee, tea, red wine, cola, berries, and dark sauces cause surface stains on the enamel. Acidic foods, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and vinegar can also erode tooth enamel, and make staining more likely.
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco products: Nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco products leave deposits on the teeth, giving them a dark appearance.
- Medications. The antibiotic tetracycline, when taken during tooth formation, can sometimes give teeth a gray appearance. Excessive amounts of fluoride can also discolor teeth, causing mottled white spots.
- Tooth trauma. Small fractures in the teeth can attract stains, and deeper damage to the nerve tissues can turn a tooth gray or brown.
What professional teeth whitening options do you offer?
Viva Dental offers several options for whitening your teeth. The first option is in-office teeth whitening, which consists of Dr. Truong applying a professional-strength whitening gel to your teeth, which oxidizes the stains and penetrates all the way to the dentin. She may also shine a special light on your teeth to enhance the bleaching process. For a more convenient option in the comfort of your own home, you can opt for at-home professional teeth whitening, which requires one short office visit in which Dr. Truong will custom-create mouth trays that fit your teeth perfectly. After creating your whitening trays, she will send you home with a strong bleaching formula to place in the trays, which you will wear for a specified time period each day. In as little as two weeks, you can achieve the same whitening results as with in-office methods. You may also opt for an in-office teeth whitening treatment, followed by at-home treatments both for enhanced whitening and touch-ups whenever your white smile starts to fade.
Will my dental restorations respond to teeth whitening?
White fillings, cosmetic bonding, veneers, and crowns will not respond to teeth whitening. If you are considering having any of these restorations placed, you may want to undergo a whitening treatment first so that they can be shaded to match your newly whitened teeth, ensuring a uniform, brilliant white smile.
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