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    Teeth Whitening


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    While brushing your teeth regularly and scheduling frequent visits to your dentist can help keep your teeth healthy for an appealing smile, removing stubborn stains from your teeth could require extra effort. Tooth discoloration and staining are common dental issues that affect several people and can significantly impact your appearance and confidence.

    If you have discolored or stained teeth and are wondering what options you have to fix your smile, this article is for you. One of the best and most sought-after cosmetic dental procedures that could whiten your teeth for a brighter and more attractive smile is tooth whitening.

    Since this cosmetic dental procedure requires the introduction of powerful bleaching agents or chemicals to the discolored teeth, you would want to retain the services of a seasoned dentist. Working with a seasoned dentist who understands the correct steps for performing in-office teeth whitening can assure you of excellent services to improve your smile’s appearance.

    At The Lakewood Dentist, we value our customers and their concerns, especially those affecting their smiles’ appearance. If you have discolored or stained teeth, our well-trained and experienced dentists can walk you through the entire teeth whitening procedure to help you achieve the whiter and brighter smile you deserve.

    Teeth Whitening at a Glance

    If you plan to undergo a teeth whitening procedure as your smile makeover option, you will likely wonder what this procedure entails and how long its results will last. As the name suggests, teeth whitening is a cost-effective and common procedure for removing discolorations and stains from the surface of your teeth (enamel).

    Generally, you have two teeth whitening options that can help improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile, including at-home and in-office treatments. In this article, you will learn more about in-office teeth whitening methods a cosmetic dentist or general dentist can perform to give you a new and brighter smile.

    One of the most common in-office teeth whitening methods is bleaching, which requires the dentist to introduce bleaching agents like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to your teeth’s enamel to bleach discolorations and stains.

    When bleaching your teeth, your dentist will gently apply the hydrogen peroxide gel to the surface of your teeth and cure it with LED lights to accelerate the whitening process for quicker and better results. Although your teeth enamel is one of the most mineralized and strongest body organs, it has several tiny holes that allow it to absorb the peroxide as a sponge, giving you a brighter smile.

    Alternatively, your cosmetic dentist could recommend whitening your teeth using a procedure known as tooth sanding. During this procedure, your dentist will file the discolored sections of your teeth using special sandpaper strips until a new shade of teeth whiteness is visible.

    Since the dentist will remove only tiny parts of the tooth enamel during the procedure, it is a pain-free process that could do wonders for your smile’s aesthetic appearance. However, your dentist could recommend a different teeth whitening alternative if you have an existing teeth sensitivity problem because this issue could worsen during or after the sanding procedure.

    Causes of Teeth Discoloration

    Several changes can occur that make your teeth appear yellowish or dark. While some of these changes are avoidable, others are unavoidable. Briefly described below are some of the culprits or causes of teeth discoloration among most people:

    1. Exposure to Certain Medications

    Although you have an excellent and consistent dental and oral care routine, you could begin noticing teeth staining or discolorations caused by particular medications. Antibiotic medication is a perfect example of a medication that could cause teeth discoloration. Aside from interfering with your general body functions, antibiotics could disrupt your dental health.

    Fortunately, you can overcome this situation through in-office teeth whitening procedures to achieve the appealing smile you deserve. If the main culprit in your teeth discoloration issue is medication, you should ask your dentist whether he/she can prescribe alternative medication.

    By doing so, you not only protect your teeth from unnecessary discolorations but also cut the cost of subsequent teeth whitening appointments.

    1. Discoloration From Aging

    Aging is an unavoidable natural process affecting several body parts, including teeth. While you cannot control this natural process, by doing everything necessary to protect your teeth’s enamel, you could combat or lessen the natural yellowing of your teeth.

    The cause of teeth discoloration as you age is exposure to several components, including stains over the years. Even if you have an excellent dental care routine involving daily brushing and flossing, discoloration could occur over time, especially in small, tight spaces between teeth.

    However, you do not have to stay with your discolored or stained teeth for the rest of your life because teeth whitening can reverse these effects, giving you a brighter and more attractive smile.

    1. Discoloration or Staining From Daily Lifestyle Activities

    Your daily activities and lifestyle choices could also cause teeth discoloration. Since it is the leading cause of teeth discoloration, you should talk to your dentist to know whether your lifestyle impacts the aesthetic appearance of your teeth.

    For instance, if you love drinking coffee or red wine regularly, there is a high chance that your teeth will become discolored over time. While you do not have to quit drinking these beverages, you should prepare a feasible solution that can help lessen or stop this discoloration.

    For instance, you can begin by brushing your teeth after drinking any staining meal to scrape off the stain coating on the enamel of your teeth.

    Aside from beverages, your food choices can also cause discoloration of your teeth. For instance, colored sauces could make your teeth discolored when you use them often. Hence, it is crucial to avoid or minimize the intake of these colored foods if you want to prevent teeth discoloration.

    In addition to beverages and foods, another lifestyle cause of teeth discoloration among many people is tobacco smoking. With time, the tar in the tobacco smoke you are inhaling will accumulate on the surface of your teeth, making them yellowish.

    Sometimes, after continued use of tobacco products, the nicotine could penetrate the inner part of the tooth beneath the enamel (dentine), causing more severe discoloration. Therefore, you should reconsider your lifestyle choices for the healthy and bright smile you deserve, especially if they cause teeth discoloration.

    That means lessening or avoiding your intake of foods and beverages that stain your teeth and habits like smoking.

    Generally speaking, you are an excellent candidate for teeth whitening if your discoloration is due to any of the above factors. However, not every person is eligible for this cosmetic dental procedure because of certain conditions or circumstances. For instance, you would not be an ideal candidate for the teeth whitening process if:

    You would want to consult your dentist to know whether you are eligible for teeth whitening. If you are not an ideal candidate for this procedure, your dentist will explain the available options you can choose for a smile makeover.

    Various Types of Discolorations or Stains That Require Teeth Whitening Removal

    Teeth stains will vary in severity and position depending on several factors. For that reason, a reliable dentist must be able to distinguish between different stains to know the appropriate treatment plan you require to achieve a bright smile. Below are various types of stains that require teeth whitening removal:

    Intrinsic Stains

    Intrinsic stains appear on your tooth’s inner layers, particularly the dentine. As its name implies, these stains occur due to the process affecting the inner part of the tooth. These processes could be due to chemical reactions or biological processes.

    Unlike extrinsic stains, intrinsic discolorations or stains are challenging to remove because they often affect a larger part of your tooth. Some of the primary culprits or causes of intrinsic stains on your teeth include antibacterial medications and tooth enamel thinning. Nonetheless, a reliable dentist will know the correct approach to removing them to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile.

    Extrinsic Stains

    Unlike intrinsic stains, extrinsic stains occur on the surface of your teeth enamel and are some of the most common discolorations affecting many people’s smile appearance. Fortunately, they are easy to scrape off because they are caused by your lifestyle choices, like smoking and drinking coffee.

    Before you achieve the desired shade of teeth whiteness, your dentist could recommend one to three whitening sessions to remove the discolorations.

    Teeth Whitening Treatments You Would Want to Consider

    When doing your homework and researching everything you need to understand about teeth whitening, you will likely come across several treatments, each offering different benefits. After obtaining all the necessary information, you can choose the appropriate teeth whitening treatment or option to give you the desired smile appearance.

    If you cannot decide which is the suitable treatment option based on the information you have gathered, you should speak with your dentist for professional advice. Some of the available teeth whitening options you ought to know include:

    Using Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

    Generally, you have several brand options you could choose from if you decide to brighten your smile using a whitening toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend the most effective and cost-friendly option you can use to achieve the desired results.

    However, it is worth noting that brightening your smile using this option is a gradual and lengthy process, meaning seeing the desired results could take a few months. Therefore, if you want instant results before your special occasion or event, this is not your ideal teeth whitening option.

    Using a Dental Hygiene Kit

    Another way to start your teeth whitening journey is by utilizing a dental hygiene kit, which consists of an ultra-violet (UV) mouthguard, whitening gel, a toothbrush, and toothpaste to clean your teeth and mouth before wearing a mouth guard.

    The dental hygiene kit can help you boost the current shade of your teeth’s whiteness by using ultraviolet (UV) light to activate the whitening gel, which gently breaches your teeth. Since this kit is portable and lightweight, you can easily use it at home or anywhere else as long as you maintain a consistent dental hygiene routine.

    Undergoing a Teeth Whitening Procedure at the Dentist’s Clinic or Office

    The most effective and recommendable smile makeover option is in-office teeth whitening at your dentist’s clinic. By opting for this teeth whitening option, you can be sure of professional services and guidance to achieve the charming smile you deserve.

    Moreover, you will not need to worry about damaging your teeth in the process since a dentist understands how to apply the bleaching chemical to the surface of your teeth and the amount necessary to give you a new smile.

    Further, you will have access to some of the best teeth-whitening products when you undergo your teeth-whitening process at the clinic.

    What to Anticipate During Your Sit-Down or in-Office Teeth Whitening Procedure

    Once you schedule a teeth whitening process with your preferred dentist, you should be ready for several dental appointments and undergo many operations to achieve your desired smile. To enjoy the most benefits from this crucial cosmetic procedure, you should learn what the dentist expects from you before the procedure. For instance, before the procedure, your dentist expects you to:

    Provide Him/Her With Your Medical Records or History

    During your initial consultation with your dentist, he/she will explain what to expect during your teeth whitening process. He/she will also ask you several questions regarding your medical record to obtain the necessary information he/she needs before starting the whitening procedure.

    For instance, disclosing your medical and health history to your dentist allows him/her to determine the root cause of the teeth staining or discoloration and recommend appropriate treatment. It is also important to disclose crucial information regarding your mental and physical health to your dentist because it can help him/her determine the cause of the stain or discoloration on your teeth.

    For instance, drinking and smoking are often associated with mental health problems and can cause discoloration of your teeth after prolonged use. When discussing your medical history with your dentist, remember to let him/her know about any past dental and oral health procedures you have received, including dental implant placement and root canal therapy.

    Disclosing this information to your cosmetic dentist allows him/her to keenly examine your gums and dental health to be certain your teeth are not at any risk of damage because of the effects of the bleaching chemicals he/she will use.

    Disclose About Any Allergies You Have, Especially to Bleaching Chemicals

    When disclosing your health and medical history to the dentist, you should also let him/her know about any allergies you have, especially to bleaching agents. Even though you are certain that teeth whitening will not cause allergies, you should inform your dentist if you have any.

    With this critical information, your cosmetic dentist can know the ideal bleaching chemical to use when whitening your discolored teeth to avoid allergic reactions.

    Allow the Dentist to Take Some Photos of You

    The final stage of teeth whitening preparations involves capturing clear images of your mouth and teeth. You can take these photos yourself or your cosmetic dentist could do so and keep his/her record. Aside from the record-keeping reasons, these photos act as a benchmark or comparator once the dentist completes the whitening procedure.

    That way, you or the dentist can easily judge whether the procedure was successful and strive to maintain the achieved results for the longest time possible when you notice an improvement.

    Steps Involved During the Teeth Whitening Process

    Many cosmetic dentists prefer or recommend using bleaching chemicals like hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. Aside from being gentle on your teeth, it is an effective teeth whitening option that can give you instant, desired results. Unlike other invasive dental procedures, teeth bleaching is comfortable and tolerable, even for teenagers.

    However, some patients could experience irritation in their teeth as the dentist works on removing the discoloration affecting their smile appearance. Despite this, teeth bleaching is pain-free unless you have an untreated underlying condition like gum disease or a cavity. If your dentist schedules you for a teeth bleaching process, here are the crucial steps to expect:

    Deep Teeth Cleaning

    The smile makeover process starts with deep teeth cleaning to provide your dentist a clean working environment. This cleaning process could also help ease the teeth bleaching intensity required because it gives your dentist or dental hygienist a chance to scrape off persistent plaque that appears as stains.

    During the deep teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will use dental compost and other tooth-cleaning tools to scrape off plaque and other food particles stuck between the spaces in your teeth. Upon thoroughly cleaning your teeth, the hygienist will dry them off and prepare you for the subsequent step.

    Teeth Polishing

    Aside from removing stubborn layers of stains, polishing your teeth before applying the bleaching chemical allows the peroxide to soak in thoroughly for the best-desired results. During this step, your dentist will use special polishing tools like scalers to smoothen your teeth’s surface, allowing the bleaching peroxide to soak in.

    Placement of Lip and Cheek Retractors

    After cleaning and polishing your teeth, your dentist installs cheek retractors to help keep your mouth open and prevent your lips and gums from touching the peroxide once the whitening process begins.

    Application of the Teeth Whitening Gel

    Once your mouth is comfortably open, your cosmetic dentist will gently apply the whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The amount of whitening gel your cosmetic dentist will use will vary depending on the number of teeth requiring bleaching. The more stained or discolored teeth you have, the more peroxide the dentist will use to bleach them to the desired shade of whiteness.

    After applying the gel, the dentist will let it sit on your teeth for a few minutes to reach the inner part of the tooth and remove intrinsic stains.

    Application of UV light on the Gel

    To finish the teeth whitening process, your cosmetic dentist will apply UV light to the gel to accelerate the reaction process for quicker and more effective results. If necessary, your dentist could repeat all these steps more than twice to achieve the desired shade of teeth whiteness you deserve for a brighter smile.

    Possible Risks Linked to the Teeth Whitening Process

    While teeth whitening is generally safe, some patients report unwanted side effects afterward. However, these cases are rare and will depend on the patient’s health before the procedure. Nonetheless, your dentist will inform you of the possible risks or side effects you are likely to experience after your teeth whitening process, including:

    Teeth Sensitivity

    You could experience teeth sensitivity after a whitening procedure, often because of over-bleaching of the enamel, which exposes the inner part of the tooth, including nerves, to outside conditions. If you experience teeth sensitivity when drinking or eating cold, hot, sour, salty, or sugary foods and beverages, you should let your dentist know to determine the appropriate remedy.

    Gum irritation

    While it is a rare side effect, you could experience gum irritation when the teeth-bleaching gel touches the gums. Because the flesh that makes up your gums is soft and sensitive, excessive contact with bleaching gel during teeth whitening could cause severe gum sensitivity and gum disease.

    When left untreated, gum disease could grow severe with time, causing severe complications like bacterial infection and tooth loss.

    If you are experiencing any of these side effects after a teeth bleaching process, you should inform your cosmetic dentist immediately to figure out an appropriate remedy.

    Find a Lakewood Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

    While teeth discoloration and staining are common dental issues, letting them affect the aesthetic appearance of your smile is a personal choice because there are several ways you can whiten your teeth, as discussed above.

    If you have persistent stains or discolorations that impact the aesthetics of your smile appearance, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist for a smile makeover. Through teeth whitening, you can achieve the desired shade of teeth whiteness you deserve to flaunt your beautiful smile confidently.

    We invite you to call our reliable cosmetic dentists at The Lakewood Dentist at 562-423-1441 if you want a smile makeover through teeth whitening.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!