A pretty smile has an immediate impact on those you meet. Without saying a word, it conveys that you take care of yourself and exudes a higher confidence level. A yellowed, dull, stained smile can send the opposite message. It can get in the way of presenting yourself in the best possible way.
Even when you practice good dental hygiene, your teeth are at risk of discoloration. Age, drinking and eating certain foods, and smoking each can negatively affect the shade of your teeth. You may be able to slow down the damage by avoiding such habits, but it’s nearly impossible to maintain the bright white smile of your youth. That’s when teeth whitening comes to the rescue.
There are a number of teeth whitening methods available today. Some of them involve buying over-the-counter products at your local drugstore for use at home, and others require a trip to see a professional. Choosing the most effective method for your teeth depends on the degree of discoloration or staining that you have, as well as your smile goals. The various methods have different levels of impact on the shade of your teeth.
Products for home use are inexpensive, readily available, and simple to use. Some popular options include whitening toothpastes, gels, and strips. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, and be patient because visible results can take some time of consistent use.
For quicker and more dramatic impacts to your smile, professional whitening is the way to go. Commercial methods employ more powerful ingredients than those available for home use. Also, special tools are often used such as ultraviolet lights to enhance the procedure. Professional whitening methods are able to improve much more severe stains and discolorations than home products. Whitening performed by a dental professional also usually lasts longer than what you might achieve at home.
The bottom line about teeth whitening is that it can be a fast and effective way to improve your look. Don’t go through life hiding your smile, but brighten your appearance with teeth whitening.
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Do you have a single tooth that has darkened due to trauma? The first step in determining if a damaged tooth can be lightened is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination.
Your dentist will need to identify what is causing the dark staining. To do this, your dentist may perform x-rays or other tests to learn if the pulp of the tooth is “vital” or alive. If the tooth is deemed to be alive, external bleaching may yield the whitening results you are seeking. Your dentist can create a single-tooth bleaching tray to whiten the traumatized tooth effectively. This type of tray keeps the bleach away from other teeth, producing the best color match for your overall smile.
However, if it is determined that the nerves have died and it is no longer a living tooth, your dentist may need to perform a root canal. Darkening of a dead tooth can happen immediately or may develop over time after a root canal procedure has been performed. For this type of tooth trauma, your dentist or endodontist may recommend bleaching the tooth from the inside.
Stains from a non-vital tooth come from the inside, rather than outside, of the tooth. Therefore, your dentist needs to put the bleach inside the tooth. This type of teeth whitening is a routine procedure that involves making a small opening in the tooth through which to bleach the tooth. Once this procedure is complete, you can assess with your dentist whether the desired results have been achieved. If the whitening is not enough, the tooth can then be bleached externally as well. If the results are still not acceptable, you may want to consider a tooth-colored veneer or crown.
If you have a darkened tooth marring your smile, consult your dentist to determine the best teeth whitening treatment to return your smile to its bright, white best.
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Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.
Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.
Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.
Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.
We treat patients from Gaithersburg and the surrounding area