Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking, and other foods that can stain our teeth daily, even proper maintenance sometimes lacks them. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
Why are my Teeth Discolored?
There are several reasons that you may experience discoloration on your teeth. As mentioned above, what you eat and drink can stain your teeth. One way to decrease discoloration while enjoying your favorite coffee, soda, or wine is to drink it with a straw. The straw will help avoid the solution from touching your teeth. Additionally, you can sip water while drinking these beverages to rinse the liquid off your teeth.
Another common reason that teeth can become discolored is because of medications. If you take anticholinergic medicines such as blood pressure medications or antihistamines such as Benadryl, you may have tooth discoloration. These medications decrease secretions in your body, decreasing saliva in your mouth. With less saliva, your teeth are not rinsed as often, and there is more time for bacteria to break down the outer layer of your teeth.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
To accomplish your teeth whitening, we utilize a tray whitening system. This tray whitening system is completed in 2 steps. The first step is to make an impression on your teeth. With this impression, we’ll craft you custom whitening trays that you can use repeatedly. Finally, you will take the whitening gel and put it in the gel for a short period over a few days. This often results in a whiter smile of 4 – 8 shades!
What is the Difference Between Professional Teeth Whitening and Over-the-Counter Solutions?
At Prairie Hawk Dental, we recommend that patients not use over-the-counter whitening solutions because they are inaccurate and, in some cases, can damage their teeth. Over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions do not use custom-made whitening trays and therefore leave untreated discolored spots on your teeth following treatment.
Additionally, if you have dental concerns on your teeth, such as dental decay, while using the over-the-counter medicine, you could cause tooth sensitivity. The teeth whitening solution can often form tubules, small tubes, in your teeth, exposing the inner nerves and blood vessels to outside treatments. For example, you may experience pain while drinking hot or cold liquids with tooth sensitivity.
What is Used in Professional Teeth Whitening?
Your dentist will use either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in professional teeth whitening. Both solutions break down the discoloration on the outer surface of your teeth to make your teeth appear whiter. The strength of the professional whitening solution is tailored to the amount of time you wear the custom-fit whitening trays. For example, if you wear the tray overnight for 8 hours a day, you will have a weaker whitening solution than if you wear the retainers for an hour a day.
Is a Retainer the Same as a Whitening Tray?
Although they may look similar at first, a retainer is different from a whitening tray. We do not recommend that patients use their orthodontic retainers as whitening trays. A whitening tray is unique from a retainer because it has small pockets in front of each tooth for the whitening solution to sit. As you wear the whitening tray, the answer sitting in the pockets evaporates the discoloration on your teeth.
Please get in touch with us today to see if you are a candidate for this type of whitening. Schedule your teeth whitening in Castle Rock, CO, today.