Teeth Whitening in Grand Prairie
Ordinarily, our teeth may have a natural color ranging between pale grayish tones to pale yellowish tones. Over the years, the color of teeth tends to darken with accumulation of stains from the food and drinks we consume or from tobacco usage. The tone of our skin and the type of make-up we do also affect the appearance of our teeth. Usually, people with darker skin tones or heavy make-ups appear to have brighter teeth than others.
Although your teeth are not naturally meant to be completely white, you may have an intense desire to have white, sparkling teeth to enhance the beauty of your smile. Thankfully, technology today has made it possible to whiten your teeth with the help of certain cosmetic procedures and products which are explained below in this article.
What causes tooth staining and darkening?
To execute tooth whitening procedures, knowledge of the tooth and its natural color and reasons of darkening needs to be understood. The upper coat of your tooth is referred to as the enamel with a layer of dentin lying immediately below the enamel. The color of the dentin and the reflection and scattering of light from the enamel determine the color of your teeth. Genetic factors also influence the color of your enamel and dentin.
The natural color of your teeth starts changing due to a number of factors. They are as follows:
- Improper dental care leads to accumulation of stains over a period of time gradually leading to a change in teeth color.
- Tobacco consumption is very deleterious for overall oral health and induces teeth darkening.
- Consumption of soft drinks and beverages with a dark color like cola, tea, coffee or red wine.
- Aging reduces the thickness of enamel and also causes darkening of the dentin.
What is extrinsic and intrinsic staining of teeth?
Generally, stains accumulated on the exposed surface of the tooth’s enamel are referred to as extrinsic stains and can be removed by teeth whitening procedures.
However, teeth may sometimes be stained intrinsically due to a number of reasons. Exposure of developing teeth to excess fluorides as a child, use of tetracycline antibiotics by a mother while pregnant can darken the teeth of the child or trauma suffered by the tooth can also lead to intrinsic staining and darkening of tooth. It is more difficult to remove intrinsic staining that the extrinsic one.
Preparation for teeth whitening
Before deciding to whiten your teeth, discuss in detail about your teeth condition and whitening possibilities with your dentist. Here are some common concepts associated with teeth whitening.
- Teeth whitening procedures need to be undertaken only if your teeth are free of cavities. A cavity in a tooth may lead to the entry of whitening solution into the inner parts of a tooth via breaks and hollows in a decaying tooth. This may lead to contamination of the tooth.
- Whitening procedures do not work in case of yellowed roots of teeth exposed by receding gums.
- Teeth whitening procedures are also not applicable in case of porcelain or ceramic crowns.
- You may visit your dentist for a teeth examination and elucidation of the cause of teeth darkening or staining. The dentist may also photograph your teeth to detect the variances in staining and color.
- Next, your dentist will clean the teeth and remove all accumulated food particles or other debris or infections. The tooth with cavities may be cleaned and filled up with a filling.
- Now, you teeth are ready for the teeth whitening procedure.
The teeth whitening procedure
There are two types of teeth whitening regimens: one is vital teeth whitening and is meant for teeth with love nerves and the other is non-vital whitening which targets teeth that has been subjected to a root canal treatment and lacks live nerves.
- Vital Whitening
A teeth whitening schedule may involve one or more visits to the dentist and duration of about 30-90 minutes each day. Usually, a layer of whitening gel containing hydrogen peroxide as an important component is applied over the teeth to whiten them. The duration of whitening procedures and the strength of the whitening gel used will be determined by the nature of your stains and the extent of whitening you desire. The dentist may use a specialized laser or light to activate the whitening gel for faster whitening.
The general steps of this procedure are as follows:
- The dentist will first cover your gums for protection against the whitening agent. A layer of the whitening gel will then be applied across your teeth.
- A light or laser source may be used to activate the whitening solution.
- If your stains are stubborn, your dentist may suggest you to continue the whitening procedure at home for several days or weeks.
- For whitening at home, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and create custom made mouthpieces for you which you will need to wear while whitening your teeth at home. These mouthpieces allow the whitening agent to come in close contact with your teeth for more effective whitening.
- You will need to wear the mouthpiece filled with the whitening gel for several hours each day for one or more weeks till the desired level of whitening is achieved.
You can also find over the counter whitening products and mouthpieces but they are generally not as effective as the ones used by a dentist. A dentist is able to create the best fitting mouthpieces for your teeth and also uses stronger whitening agents in a scientific manner to give you the best possible results.
- Non-Vital Whitening
If the tooth darkening or staining is intrinsic like in the case of teeth that have undergone root canal therapy, extrinsic application of teeth whitening products will not yield satisfactory results. In such cases, your dentist may place whitening gel inside your affected tooth and put a temporary filling in place to allow the whitening agent to exert its action. This is kept for a number of days till the desired change in teeth color is achieved.
Are there any side-effects of teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening may cause a slight irritation of the gums or your teeth may be slightly more sensitive for a short duration. However, no major side effects are known to be associated with teeth whitening procedures. Pregnant women are not encouraged to undergo teeth whitening before delivery as there is no clear study about the effects of teeth whitening agents on the health of the growing baby.
Tooth whitening is not a permanent solution. Your lifestyle affects how fast the stains will resurface on your teeth. If you can put a control on smoking and consumption of foods and drinks that induce teeth stains, your teeth will stay white for a longer period. You can use a custom built mouthpiece and whitening agents for in-house teeth whitening as and when you deem it necessary and you may also pay follow-up visits to the dentist for teeth whitening.
After reading this, if you are interested in teeth whitening, contact the team of Affordable Dentist in Grand Prairie, TX at 817-200-7086 to book an appointment for consultation with the experts of this team regarding your queries on teeth whitening.