A sparkling bright smile gives your confidence a boost and makes you look younger. Unfortunately, not everyone can flash a white smile due to discolorations that cause the teeth to appear yellow, brown, or grey. If you suffer from stained teeth, you can lighten them using professional whitening treatments.
These treatments can make your teeth multiple shades whiter and are available both over-the-counter and as professional treatments at the dentist’s office. Modern technology and innovations have made whitening treatments easily accessible and effective at removing discoloration to give you whiter teeth. Read on for more information on the best teeth whitening options!
Types of Dental Discoloration
Tooth discoloration can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration refers to staining that affects only the surface of your teeth, while intrinsic discoloration goes deep into the enamel. Some of the causes of extrinsic discoloration include consuming pigmented foods and beverages, habits like smoking and poor hygiene. Intrinsic discoloration can be caused by certain medications, illnesses like diabetes or trauma.
Depending on whether you suffer from intrinsic or extrinsic staining, there are two methods of whiten your teeth.
Whitening for Extrinsic Stains – Extrinsic whitening refers to treatments that target stains on the surface of your teeth. It is the easier of the two treatments. Professional whitening is more potent and delivers brighter results than over-the-counter treatments.
Whitening for Intrinsic Stains – This option targets more permanent stains and those found beneath the enamel. Intrinsic stains don’t respond to traditional whitening methods, but they can be treated. Your dental professional can provide effective solutions using crowns, veneers, bonding, and other more extensive treatments.
Common Extrinsic Whitening Treatments
It’s a good idea to do some research and clearly understand what works for you. This includes your sensitivity to whitening agents used during the procedure, oral health, and even genetics. It is best to consult your dentist before carrying out any whitening treatment so that you can get the recommendation that fits your dental needs and smile goals.
Here are some of the whitening treatments that can help you brighten your teeth and enhance your smile.
Professional Chairside Treatment: Also known as an in-office treatment, professional chairside treatment occurs at the dentist’s office. During the procedure, your dentist uses a whitening gel containing peroxide to whiten your teeth. These treatments may also involve the use of UV light to accelerate the bleaching process. Chairside treatments offer quick results as it only takes a maximum of one hour to whiten your teeth. It is also the most reliable and effective solution to tooth discoloration.
Professional Take-Home Kits: Take-home kits allow you to whiten your teeth at the comfort of your home, and you can only get them from your dentist. They consist of custom trays and whitening gel that you apply according to your dentist’s advice. While you carry out the procedure on your own, your dentist usually supervises the treatment.
LED Light Kits: LED light kit includes special UV light in safe wavelengths to remove stains. While dentists use LED lights to speed up whitening during in-office treatments, you can use LED light kits with whitening gel to whiten your teeth at home.
Whitening Strips: Whitening strips are thin strips coated with bleaching gel that you apply to your teeth to get rid of discoloration. They are mostly available over-the-counter, and you only need to follow the instructions written on them to whiten your teeth within a few days.
Whitening Pens: Whitening pens are thin tubes that contain teeth whitening gel. They are small and portable and are ideal for use after consuming pigmented or staining food. You can apply a layer of whitening gel on your teeth whenever necessary.
Special Toothpaste and Rinses: Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive or chemical agents that facilitate teeth whitening by removing stains. They are ideal for removing extrinsic stains as they don’t have bleaching ingredients. Rinses are mouthwashes that contain whitening chemicals to help lighten teeth. You use the whitening rinse by swishing it in your mouth for one minute twice a day before brushing your teeth.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Although whitening treatments can brighten your teeth by up to six shades whiter, good oral hygiene will help you maintain the results for longer. Ensure that you brush and floss daily, scrape your tongue, and take your probiotics to maintain oral health. Also, regular checkups will help you boost your oral health and sustain your results.
Professional teeth whitening treatments are your best options for discolored teeth compared to over-the-counter interventions. Note that you can only undergo whitening treatments if you have healthy teeth and gums, so ensure that your oral health is in top shape before the procedure. Consult your dentist if you have tooth sensitivity or allergies to the whitening gel.