Teeth whitening is becoming more popular as tooth discoloration can be difficult to avoid. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, almost 90% of patients sought teeth whitening treatment. There are several types of whitening treatments, some of which you can do at home and some of which can be done here at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates. We can also give you some tips on avoiding tooth discoloration in the future.
Teeth Whitening At Home
There are three whitening options that you can do for yourself at home; whitening toothpaste, custom bleaching from our dentist, and over-the-counter (OTC) bleaching. Some whitening toothpastes contain chemical agents that either bleach the teeth or make them appear whiter by cancelling out the yellow color through optical illusion. These also have an abrasive texture which allows them to polish your teeth.
Custom-bleaching kits from our dentist include a custom-fitted tray and bleaching solution. Each product and individual case are different, so we will give you further instructions at your appointment. It can take up to a few weeks for results to become noticeable.
OTC bleaching kits may contain a variety of products designed to bleach your teeth. This includes whitening toothpaste that strictly bleaches the teeth as well as whitening strips. For any product that you purchase on your own, make sure it has an American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This ensures that it has been professionally tested and shown to work.
Professional Whitening Treatment
We also offer whitening treatment at our office. Also called chairside bleaching, this can typically be completed in a single office visit. We will first apply a gel or rubber shield to your gums to protect them. Once this is in place, we apply the bleaching solution to your teeth.
Some people have shown sensitivities to the various whitening products available. This is because the peroxide contained in whitening products penetrates the enamel and irritates the nerve. You may need to trial a few treatments before you find the one that works for you.
Your best option is to prevent discoloration in the first place. Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done, but there are a few rules to follow. Diet plays a huge role in tooth discoloration because of the pigments, also called chromogens, contained in them attach to the enamel of your tooth. Some of these include coffee, tea, red wine, and dark colored fruits.
Tobacco contains two chemicals that contribute to staining. Tar is dark on its own and the nicotine becomes a yellow color when it is mixed with oxygen.
Teeth will start to discolor with age and after using certain medications. Aging cannot be avoided no matter how hard you try and some medications are absolutely essential for your health. In these cases, whitening may be your only option. Some medications that have been correlated with tooth discoloration include anti-psychotics, high blood pressure medications, and certain antibiotics during pregnancy or infanthood. Chemotherapy can also cause tooth discoloration.
Schedule an Appointment
Some trauma causes your body to layer more dentin onto your teeth, creating a darker color. For more information about discoloration prevention and whitening treatments, call Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates at 725-257-2220 today.