Ever wonder how some people just have the brightest teeth? Well chances are they’ve had some dental help in keeping that smile so bright. Advances in oral health have brought multiple teeth whitening products to the market. Many of these products can be purchased over the counter at your local drug store or even at the super market. Some of these are good alternatives to the ones provided by your local Clayton dentist. But the best (and safest) methods for whitening your teeth come from your favorite dentist… Dr Folden Lee! So how do you know if you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening services? Let’s take a look at what’s causing your tooth discoloration.
What causes tooth discoloration?
If you’re a younger patient suffering from tooth discoloration, then chances are your diet and habits have caused your teeth to yellow. Dark liquids such as Coke and other sodas can cause discoloration. Coffee is also a big proprietor of teeth stains. Other oral habits such as heavy alcohol intake, smoking and tobacco use can lead to yellow stains as well.
There are a few factors that contribute to teeth yellowing that may be out of a patient’s control. Taking certain medications for instance can cause tooth discoloration. Age can also play a role, as enamel tends to thin as we get older. It may be best to talk to your dentist about teeth whitening solutions before trying any over the counter remedies. You definitely don’t want to cause any harm to your teeth!
The best candidates for teeth whitening
As we discussed above, the best candidates seeking professional teeth whitening services in Clayton, will be patients that more or less consume every day products that cause yellowing. This would be the everyday coffee or soda drinkers, or even tobacco users. Red wine and dark alcohol drinkers might also benefit, however because wine is very acidic, you need to mindful of your enamel.
Not so good candidates for teeth whitening
Internal factors that can lead to yellowing or discoloration of the teeth might include:
- Age and pregnancy issues. Teeth whitening is not recommended for children under the age of 16. Older patients with thin enamel may not be the best candidates either. These patients may be ideal candidates for dental veneers or crowns.
- Patients with gum disease, cavities or exposed roots. Teeth whitening solutions are made to penetrate and break apart stains. This means that the solution can cause further damage to decay and cavities. Exposed roots on a tooth have no enamel layer, and the solution may cause further damage and sensitivity. Patients may be candidates for other gum disease treatments in these cases, as well as veneer and crown solutions.
Types of professional teeth whitening
Upon visiting the dentist for professional teeth whitening services, you will find there are generally two methods used.
In office power bleaching
The first method is the in-office power bleaching session. This is generally going to be the quickest and safest method of professional teeth whitening. The actual process may vary from dentist to dentist, and can involve a ultra-violet light or simply a high powered gel solution. You can expect these sessions to last 20-40 mins or broken into two separate sessions. In-office bleaching might be right for you if you rarely engage in any stain causing activities and just want to have your teeth whitening as quickly as possible.
At home bleaching trays
The second method is done in the comfort of your own home, using the professionally molded trays provided by your dentist. Your visit to mold the trays is quick and easy and can be done after a checkup if needed. The doctor or hygienist will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth during your visit. They will then send these impressions to the lab for plastic trays to be made. On your next visit they will then make sure the trays fit properly and provide you with a solution and directions that you can use at home.
At Dr. Folden W. Lee, DDS we are here to answer any questions you may have about the health of your smile and the brightness of your teeth! Feel free to contact us today with any questions.