The appearance of your smile plays a crucial role in the impression you leave with those around you. Your teeth play an integral role in your smile. Perfectly straight, beautifully white teeth can leave an impression that others will not soon forget. Unfortunately, dull, discolored teeth can leave an impression, too. It is just not usually the one you want. If discoloration is affecting the appearance of your smile, the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS can help with teeth whitening.
What Causes Discoloration in the First Place?
The teeth are more complex than they look, consisting of several layers. The outermost layer, called the enamel, is heavily mineralized and very strong. It is also naturally white in color. While strong, normal use eventually leads to the formation of tiny microfractures, which can collect pigments, stains, and debris. Factors that contribute to staining include:
Why Not Just Use Over the Counter Products?
There is a multitude of over the counter whitening products available at just about any pharmacy. These products include toothpaste, strips, gels, and pens. All of these products contain low levels of whitening agents, most commonly hydrogen peroxide. These products may be affordable, but they rarely help you to achieve your desired results. It can take numerous treatments before you even notice a slight difference in the color of your teeth.
How Teeth Whitening Works
There are two types of professional teeth whitening. The first is an in-office, or chairside, procedure. This procedure is done in one visit and takes about an hour of your time. We begin by cleaning your teeth. Next, a lip retractor is used to hold your mouth open, and the whitening agent is applied to your teeth. A UV light is directed at your mouth and stays in place for the duration of your treatment. The light activates the active ingredient, carbamide peroxide. The peroxide breaks down into tiny oxygen bubbles that enter the enamel and cling to stains, bleaching them away. Chairside whitening can whiten your teeth several shades, and results are noticeable right away.
If you would prefer to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, we can provide you with take-home trays. This option takes two visits. During your first visit, we take impressions of your mouth. The impressions are used to design and create custom fit trays. On your second visit, we provide you with your trays, the whitening gel and specific instructions for use. Trays are typically worn 4 to 8 hours each day, or while you sleep. Based on your goals, and the condition of your teeth, we determine the number of days your trays should be worn. With take-home trays, results begin to show in about a week.
With the brilliant white color of your teeth restored, you can smile confidently once again, and know that you are leaving a positive impression on those you meet. If you are interested in learning more about teeth whitening, and finding out if it is right for you, contact the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS today at (818) 570-8525.