Too many of our Utah clients look into their mirrors and see teeth that are either not as bright white as they like or are actually discolored. The reasons for this can be varied. Teeth can be stained by drinking lots of coffee and tea or by taking certain medications. Among the other bad things it does, smoking also stains teeth. The color and brightness of a person’s teeth are at least partially inherited, and some people are just born with teeth that are not as bright as they’d like. As people get older, the enamel on their teeth starts to wear away and more of the yellowish dentin starts to show. Fortunately, our offices offer teeth whitening to our customers in the Holladay area.
How Teeth Whitening Works
To whiten teeth is to basically bleach them. To that end, our dentists apply gels that often have carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to the teeth. These chemicals release oxygen bubbles that remove the stains. Teeth whitening is now gentle and painless, and most patients don’t need anesthesia. This is unlike in the past where dentists used to etch and then heat the teeth to brighten them up.
During teeth whitening, a square piece of either latex or natural called a dental dam is put around the teeth. This protects the gums and keeps the teeth dry during the bleaching procedure. Our dentist then applies the bleaching agent, which is left on for about 30 minutes. Then, it’s rinsed away.
In another, newer technique, the dentist places the gel on the teeth then cures it with a special light. A patient usually has at least two of these treatments scheduled two weeks apart.
Some patients are a little uncomfortable after teeth whitening in the dentist’s office, but this fades fairly quickly. Temporarily sensitive teeth are normal after a tooth whitening, because the dentist use a solution that’s much stronger than over-the- counter tooth whiteners.
Can Teeth Whitening Be Done At Home?
It’s true that a person can whiten their teeth at home, but they need to be cognizant of the risks. Because the solutions are relatively weak, home bleaching just doesn’t get the teeth as white as the patient probably wants them. Despite the weakness of the solution, if it’s applied incorrectly it can damage both the teeth and the gums. A patient’s best bet is to come into our offices for safe teeth whitening that will produce the brilliant smile that everyone loves to see and to have.
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