Teeth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to remove discoloration and stains. It is probably the most popular cosmetic dental procedure because it can significantly improve the appearance of teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other cosmetic dental techniques. A thin coating 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. Teeth whitening is a procedure that needs to be repeated more than once to achieve the desired effect.

Why Whiten?

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.

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.Crowns and porcelain veneers cannot be whitened. Teeth whitening works best on teeth that have been stained by food, drinks or age.

Whitening can be done at home or in your dentist’s office. For teeth 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.

Teeth Whitening Techniques

Zoom teeth whitening got its name from its speed and is considered one of the fastest teeth whitening systems used in dentist offices today (or at home with directions from your dentist). If you choose the in-office teeth whitening option, your teeth can look up to eight shades lighter in just one hour. If you choose the take-home option, your teeth should look up to six shades lighter in just three days, and with additional applications, the shade can go even lighter.

Zoom!™ is a light-activated teeth whitening treatment that your dentist typically applies in his office. After checking your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy enough for the bleaching, your dentist will spread a whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide over your teeth. Then, the dentist will flash the Zoom!™ light on your teeth to activate and break down the hydrogen peroxide. As it breaks down, it allows oxygen to enter your teeth and bleach the dentin and enamel. After three twenty-minute applications of gel, we will finish up the procedure with a five-minute fluoride treatment.

The take-home application is available in weekender kits perfect for those of you who want quick results. The kits come with tray materials and instructions for how to make an impression of your teeth to be sent off to a lab. The take-home treatment also uses hydrogen peroxide. The at-home formula is designed for improved gel penetration and controlled oxygen release.

You will place this formula into your custom-made tray. Typically, at-home users wear each application between four to eight hours, depending on what length of time your dentist recommends. After just three applications, you can see your teeth become up to six shades lighter, whiter and brighter!

Zoom teeth whitening also offers a touch-up kit for use after your treatment and a whitening toothpaste to use to maintain your new brighter smile.

Nite White and Day White Teeth Whitening

Nite White® has been used by dentists to whiten teeth for a little over a decade and offers the three most effective ingredients for reducing sensitivity and enhancing the results of a whitening treatment. It is the first and only take-home whitener to combine amorphous calcium phosphate, potassium nitrate and fluoride to provide sensitivity management and enhanced whitening results.

Day White® combines the same ingredients as Nite White (amorphous calcium phosphate, potassium nitrate and fluoride) and is a low sensitivity daytime teeth whitener that is used only 30 minutes twice a day.

The effects of teeth whitening can last several years, but this depends on what you eat and drink, whether or not you smoke, and how diligent you are regarding maintaining your teeth’s whiteness.

To find out about all of the exciting teeth whitening procedures and treatments offered in cosmetic dentistry to whiten teeth and improve your smile, please call or email the professional teeth whiteners at Dental Touch Associates today to schedule an appointment.


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