As we head deeper into summer, demand for teeth whitening is starting to increase. Maybe you have considered getting your teeth whitened. But is it safe? How exactly does it work? What causes teeth to be not white in the first place? Don’t worry. A dentist is here to answer all of your questions about teeth whitening in Pasadena.
How Do Teeth Become Stained?
Teeth can become discolored or stained for many reasons. As we age, the enamel, or the white outer layer of our teeth, thins and reveals the yellow layer of dentin underneath. Drinking colorful beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine can also leave stains on the teeth. Nicotine in tobacco products can discolor teeth as well.
Sometimes teeth can become intrinsically stained. For example, if you ingested too much fluoride as a kid, it may have darkened your adult teeth. Injuries to the mouth can cause the tooth the bleed, changing its color from the inside. Whatever the reason, teeth whitening can remove the appearance of these stains.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Your cosmetic dentist in Pasadena offers a take-home whitening kit to get the job done. First, you will get impressions of your mouth taken in order to design trays that fit your individual smile. Fill each tray with the prescription-strength whitening agent and wear them for however long your doctor recommends. Patients will typically see results after just one week, with their brightest smiles coming in at up to four weeks. But how does the bleach work?
The peroxide-based whitening agent inside the bleach travels inside the enamel to reach the discolored molecules in your tooth. Then oxygen molecules in the bleach break the bonds that hold stained molecules together. White oxygen molecules then spread, removing stains.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
There are a couple of minor concerns with teeth whitening. One is that if the bleach touches the gums, it can cause irritation. However, with professionally customized trays, the bleach should stay confined to your teeth.
Another issue is sensitivity following treatment. This can happen when you leave the bleach on for too long and dehydrate the tooth. There are a few things you can do to relieve sensitivity if it happens, such as:
- Cutting back on the amount of time you use the bleaching agent
- Taking an over-the-counter painkiller before treatment
- Limiting cold foods and drinks during treatment
- Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
- Talking to your dentist if the issue persists
Getting your teeth whitened can be a wonderful way to make sure your smile looks great for the summer. If you are interested, talk to your cosmetic dentist today to see if teeth whitening is right for you.
About the Author
Dr. Kimber Holmes has more than 20 years’ experience of practicing dentistry in Pasadena, CA. She earned her Doctor of Dental Science degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. She is an expert is several different areas of dental care, including root canal treatment and sedation. To learn more about how she can make your smile bright for the summer, click here or call (713)-946-5171.