Flagstaff Smiles

What Actually Whitens Teeth?

January 19, 2022
5 Min Read
What Actually Whitens Teeth?

It’s safe to say that most, if not all of us have wished to have whiter teeth at some point in our lives. Whether it’s to increase our self-confidence or achieve that lasting first impression when meeting someone new, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a beautiful smile. Fortunately, making this a reality has never been easier.

For more information about teeth whitening in Flagstaff, contact our local dental practice today!

Why Our Teeth Get Stained

Our teeth help us eat, talk, and laugh every single day, and that’s why it’s not a surprise that they’re susceptible to acquiring stains along the way. Some of the most common factors that can cause discoloration are:

• Genetics.
• Certain medications.
• Food and drink like strawberries, soy sauce, coffee, wine, and tea.
• Smoking.
• Aging.
• Oral infections or tooth decay.

The enamel is the hard outer layer that protects the internal structure of your tooth, which includes the roots. Over the years, it can wear away and become darker due to lifestyle habits. When your enamel is eroded, the layer underneath it, called the dentin, becomes more visible as well as vulnerable. The more stains that your enamel acquires, the less bright your teeth are.

To learn more about this, contact a dentist near you. They’ll be happy to address any questions and concerns you may have.

Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

Thanks to the many progressions within the realm of dentistry, there are plenty of ways to illuminate your smile. The two main methods of doing so include professional (in-office) teeth whitening and do-it-yourself (at-home) whitening. Each of these approaches is broken down into more detail for your convenience:

1. In-office teeth whitening.

When you visit our dental clinic in Flagstaff to receive professional teeth whitening, you only need to come in for a single appointment. It should last no more than an hour at the most.

First, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your mouth; they may take some dental x-rays of your teeth and gums too, in order to establish a detailed image of your oral hygiene. Next, your teeth will be cleaned and polished to ensure that any lingering plaque and tartar are removed.

Dentists typically use a whitening solution that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These two substances can penetrate beneath your enamel and remove deep stains. The whitening agent is applied and sits on your teeth for a minute before it is wiped off. This process is repeated until your desired shade of white is achieved.

Don’t be afraid to let your dentist know if you require further care or experience any sensitivity. They may provide you with a fluoride treatment to help manage this issue.

2. At-home teeth whitening.

While professional teeth whitening does last longer, it can also be more expensive. If you’re interested in brightening your smile in an affordable, yet reliable way, here are some great options that you can explore:

• Take-home trays. Some dental clinics provide take-home trays with a safe, predetermined amount of whitening gel that you can use. Typically, the gel contains a smaller concentration of peroxide.
• Brushing with baking soda and toothpaste.
• Brushing with charcoal.
• Using whitening toothpaste, strips, or mouthwash.
• Oil swishing. This can help remove lingering bacteria.
• Brushing and flossing after meals. This is certainly the simplest, easiest way to keep your teeth healthy and help them sparkle.

Limiting the amount of food and drink that you consume that leaves behind stains, as well as avoiding smoking will certainly help your teeth stay white too.

It’s always a smart idea to talk to your dentist before starting treatment at home. They’ll discuss your options with you and help you choose the best course of action for your specific dental case.

Are you interested in receiving teeth whitening near you? At Flagstaff Smiles, we’ve got you covered! Our staff is ready and willing to assist you with all your dental needs. Come in, call, or visit our website to book a consultation with one of our dentists today!

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