Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished you had whiter teeth? Well, you’re not alone; Science Daily estimates that Americans spend approximately 1 billion dollars a year on teeth whitening products.
There are many available at-home teeth whitening kits as well as in-office treatments offered by dentists. Knowing the pros and cons of the different kinds may save you money as well as giving you better results.
Causes of Tooth Discoloration
Foods, drinks, air pollution, and medications can all contribute to teeth becoming discolored. However, although there may be mild staining and discoloration of teeth, this can usually be well-managed by brushing, flossing, and generally following a good oral hygiene routine.
It is actually when the outer layer of enamel wears thin, that the layer of dentin below becomes visible. With a natural yellow tinge, dentin is often what patients see when their teeth become discolored.
Fortunately, there is a range of methods available to help restore your natural tooth color.
Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Commercially available home whitening kits can be both convenient and inexpensive. These whitening systems may contain a bleaching agent and a tray. The user can put the paste, gum, or whitening gel into the tray and then place the tray in their mouth, biting into it. After a recommended period, the user removes the tray.
They repeat this procedure over days, weeks, and sometimes months. Whitening results will vary depending on the concentration of the whitening agent, how tightly the tray holds the agent in contact with the teeth, and the dental care routine followed by the individual.
Other home kits may contain a whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and other abrasive materials designed to remove stains from the tooth enamel. Patients should note that these are not bleaching kits and will not remove the yellow tinge from the deeper-lying layer of dentin.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
A qualified dentist performs professional teeth whitening in their office. While tray whitening can be effective, the quality of the kit and the concentration of the whitening agent may not be optimal. Also, a patient may leave a tray in for too long in trying to obtain faster results. This method can result in teeth being too white and looking unnatural.
At Owens Cosmetic & Family Dental Care, you will have an initial consultation with your dental professional. Your dentist will discuss the teeth whitening procedure and explain the available options.
Our cosmetic dentists often recommend using our Zoom Whitening treatment. Your dentist will apply a covering containing hydrogen peroxide onto your teeth. Your dentist will also shine a powerful Zoom light on your teeth.
The light is said to speed up the breaking down the process of the hydrogen peroxide. As it disintegrates, oxygen is released, and it travels through your tooth enamel and to the dentin. Stains and discoloration are removed from both layers, resulting in a whiter appearance.
Our Zoom Whitening treatments can use from 25%-40% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Commercially available kits may have as low as 7%. As this is the active agent in the teeth whitening treatment, a higher concentration will likely lead to better results.
As a leading Farmington Hills dentist, we would always recommend having an initial consultation with a dental professional before beginning any teeth whitening treatment. A dentist can offer guidance and will advise on any risks to your health or any cosmetic factors you should consider.
Contact us at Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today on 248-621-4816 or complete our online consultation form to arrange an appointment.