Teeth tend to get discolored over the course of one’s lifetime. There are several reasons that could lead to it and can seriously ruin the aesthetics of one’s teeth. The process of getting rid of the stains on the teeth and restoring them to their natural color is called teeth whitening.
Common causes of teeth discoloration
- Improper brushing techniques could leave a lot of microbes on the teeth.
- Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes.
- Ill effects of certain medication.
- Wear of the teeth, which would erode away a layer of the enamel.
- Frequent consumption of colored foods and liquids, such as wine, coffee, aerated drinks.
In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening is the most recommended whitening procedure by dentists. During your visit to our dental practice, our dentist would thoroughly clean your teeth and check for any cavities or cracks. If any, they have to be treated before the whitening gel is applied. In certain cases where there is significant receding of gums, a rubber sheath would be placed in a position to prevent the gel from reaching the gums and roots.
The whitening gel will be applied to the teeth and spread evenly. Since the gel is photosensitive, a light of a specific wavelength will be used to activate it. This produces a foam that helps to remove the stains off the surface of the teeth. The gel must stay in contact with the teeth for a few minutes, after which it can be removed and then rinsed off. The procedure may have to be repeated multiple times depending on the severity of discoloration and the level of whitening the patient prefers.
Can teeth whitening be done at home?
Of course. For people who run on a tight schedule and do not find enough time to spend at the dentists’ office, we provide customized whitening trays. These trays, which are very comfortable fitting over your teeth, can be used at home along with a whitening gel. The tray allows the gel to be in contact with the teeth for a longer period of time and prevents the interference of the saliva with it.
The duration of wearing the whitening tray, again, depends on the severity of the stains on your teeth and the level of whitening you prefer. It can range anywhere from a few minutes to wear overnight. Typically, the treatment period would last between 3 days to two weeks.
Dr. Peter Yeh, D.D.S. at Covington Signature Dentistry, can help improve the oral health of our patients while transforming their smiles. Call us at (253) 638-9955 or schedule an appointment online.