What you need to know about teeth whitening treatment in Phoenix, AZ
Our country is in the midst of a teeth whitening trend, and for good reason. In the care of an experienced dental professional, whitening is an economical way to give teeth a healthy-looking boost that brings confidence to your smile. The dentists at Life Smiles Dental Care in Phoenix, AZ – Dr. Paul Nielson and Dr. Timothy Schmidt share this helpful information for those considering treatment.
Why teeth get dingy
Most people have bright baby teeth, and secondary teeth also come in sparkly white . . . initially. Then life happens. A combination of diet, lifestyle habits, medical conditions, and the passing of time tarnishes the smile.
The primary culprits for yellow, brown, or other dark discoloration are:
- Stains – Coffee, tea, red wine, and other dark beverages and foods, consumed with regularity, leave pigments trapped in microscopic pits and grooves in tooth enamel. Although not necessarily staining themselves, acidic drinks like white wine and citrus juice etch enamel, allowing pigments to embed.
- Tobacco – Nicotine is colorless, but when it combines with oxygen, it turns yellow, and your teeth do, too. E-cigarettes with nicotine are also staining. Tobacco contains tar which is absorbed by pores in tooth enamel, turning teeth brown. Brown pigments from chewing tobacco mix with saliva, dying teeth just as Easter eggs soak up food coloring.
- Genetics – The base color of tooth enamel, much like hair or eye color, is inherited. Some people just have naturally darker teeth.
- Old dental work – Silver-colored amalgam fillings show through dentin and enamel, making teeth look gray. Tooth-colored fillings and crowns eventually become dull and discolored.
- Health conditions – Certain illnesses, medications, and therapies impact tooth color. The antibiotic, tetracycline, is a common example. Taken during childhood, it turns the insides of teeth gray.
- Fluoride – Some people take oral fluoride supplements in an attempt to strengthen teeth, but too much causes fluorosis – white or brown stains on enamel.
- Trauma – A single tooth may darken at the core from a fall or blow to the face.
- Age – Dentin is a strong layer of tooth structure that lies just under enamel. Through years of chewing and brushing, enamel thins, allowing the yellowish dentin to show through. Plus, teeth are living entities. As they continue to renew themselves internally, the new dentin is darker.
Two kinds of stains
All the above conditions that affect the color of teeth fall into one of two categories – intrinsic stains or extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic literally means “contained wholly within.” Thus, intrinsic stains are inside the tooth. You may have thought that bleaching lightens the hard outer enamel surface of teeth, but in truth it soaks through pores, into the dentin. When the inner part of the tooth becomes lighter, it reflects out through enamel, brightening the smile.
Extrinsic is defined as “not part of something’s essential nature, but rather coming from the outside.” Extrinsic stains lie on the exterior surfaces of teeth. They are best removed with a thorough professional cleaning and polish, with teeth bleaching as a finishing touch.
At Life Smiles Dental Care, whitening is tailored to your teeth, lifestyle, schedule, and budget.
Zoom! light-activated whitening is an excellent choice when you need a dramatic change, fast. It is performed in the dental chair, ideally right after a cleaning. The painless procedure takes about an hour and a half. You leave the office with a noticeably brighter smile (and a spring in your step).
The KöR Deep Bleaching system is a little more involved but delivers exceptional, long-lasting results. A two-week daily home bleaching routine culminates with a powerful in-office session that tackles even deep intrinsic stains.
Most patients are extremely pleased with whitening results and want to keep their smiles gleaming. The dentist may recommend periodic re-treatment at home. With custom-fit application trays and prescription strength bleaching gel, your brilliant results can last indefinitely.
Before you waste money on ineffective retail bleaching products or risk damaging teeth with abrasive toothpaste, it is important to get the facts about teeth whitening treatment in Phoenix, AZ. You have more options than you think, with the safety assurance of a trained dental team.
Call Life Smiles Dental in Phoenix, AZ at (602) 786-5484 to learn more about teeth whitening treatment.