Brighten and Whiten Those Teeth Today!

By: Lynn Fugaro

Most everyone would like whiter, brighter teeth, and for this reason, is easily the most popular procedure performed in cosmetic dentistry offices in the United States. Tooth whitening by cosmetic dentists lightens teeth and helps to remove discoloration and stains. It has become so popular because it can significantly improve the appearance of teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other cosmetic dental techniques.

Plaque is a thin coating that forms on your teeth daily, and this coating picks up stains. The outer layer of each tooth, called the enamel, contains pores that hold stains. If performed properly, tooth whitening can remove the stains and leave your with whiter, brighter teeth that will dazzle your family and friends. They will certainly notice something different about you, but they may not be able to put their finger on what is so different about you!

Why do People Whiten Their Teeth?

The most common reasons for stained teeth are tobacco, tea/coffee, and aging; all of these stain the surface of the teeth. Stains can affect the inside of the tooth, also and are called intrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains can be caused by exposure to too much fluoride as a child while your teeth were developing. Antibiotics containing tetracycline taken during the second half of pregnancy can also cause intrinsic stains.

The Procedure

Before teeth are whitened, cavities need to be treated because the solution used to whiten teeth can penetrate tooth decay and reach the inner areas of the tooth. Whitening will not work on exposed tooth roots because there is no enamel on the roots. and cannot be whitened. Tooth whitening works best on teeth that have been stained by food, drinks or age.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products sold in drug stores are not usually recommended by your cosmetic dentist because they can produce unnatural-looking results, and the store-bought trays may not fit your teeth properly.

Whitening can be done at home or in your dentist's office. For whitening done in the office, the dentist will usually take photographs your teeth making it easier for him to monitor how the process is going for you. Whitening in the office typically takes just under an hour and may involve four to six visits.

For whitening at home, your cosmetic dentist will direct you to use trays custom-made from impressions taken of your teeth. Whitening at home usually takes two to three weeks.

Dental Surgery
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