If you were thinking of whitening your teeth, you may believe that all whitening applications should work for any type of dental discoloration. However, that is not the case. Here are a few questions to help you select the best whitening application for your dental staining:
Are your teeth deeply stained?
If you have repeatedly ingested deeply colored beverages or foods over a prolonged period, your teeth may be deeply stained. People who drink coffee or consume dark foods, such as blackberries, on a consistent basis may notice that their teeth are much darker than they used to be.
Over time, the pigments within the foods or drinks become deeply absorbed into the pores of the tooth enamel, where regular brushing will have no effect. The deepest stains often respond best to professional whitening applications.
In-office whitening is performed by a dental professional. He or she protects the soft tissues of your mouth while applying a peroxide-based solution to the teeth. The dentist may also use an ultraviolet light to further whiten the teeth during the application.
An in-office whitening treatment can result in multiple shade changes during a single application. However, for the deepest stains, several treatments may be needed. Still, in-office whitening offers the fastest results of all bleaching applications.
The dentist may also offer professional at-home whitening kits. When received from a dentist, the kits often include a customized mouth tray to ensure that the whitening solution is applied only to your teeth and does not inflame your gums. Additionally, the individualized trays ensure that the surfaces of your teeth are properly covered with the solution for maximized results. The whitening effects of an at-home kit are seen more gradually, and the product may need to be used for several weeks to reach the lightest possible tooth shade.
Are your teeth only lightly stained?
If your teeth are only lightly stained, you may be able to use natural teeth whiteners, such as a paste made of baking soda and water, to gently polish away surface stains. Whitening toothpaste may also be helpful for teeth that do not have deep staining.
Is your discoloration the result of a birth defect or dental trauma?
If your dental discoloration is caused by a congenital defect or by a blow to the mouth, dental bleaching agents will not be effective at whitening your teeth. However, your dentist may be able to apply dental veneers to conceal the discoloration and give the illusion of perfectly white teeth.
For more information, contact Waterford Dental or a similar location.