Flagstaff Smiles

Your Options For Whiter Teeth

May 23, 2020
5 Min Read
Your Options For Whiter Teeth

Teeth whitening is a multi-billion dollar industry every year in the United States alone. If you want to be your most appealing self and have the most noticeable and beautiful smile, teeth whitening in Flagstaff can help. We’re going to break down your range of options for achieving a whiter and brighter smile.

What causes stained and discolored teeth?

Everything you eat and drink passes by your teeth. Many of the things you eat and drink leave telltale stains on your not so pearly whites — especially deep-colored things like coffee, tea, and red wine. The nicotine and tar in cigarette smoke also stains and discolors your teeth.

Your teeth will also change color due to factors that you can’t control. As you age, your teeth’s enamel is worn away to reveal the yellowish dentin underneath. Your body produces more of that yellowish dentin in response to trauma or injury, as well. Antihistamines, high blood pressure medication, antipsychotics, and antibiotics taken as a child can also change the color of your teeth — so can infections.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whiteners contain bleaching products that can lighten teeth by several shades. The active ingredient is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Dentists use much stronger bleaching ingredients (up to 45% peroxide) than you’ll find in over-the-counter whitening products (approximately seven percent peroxide) because they can do so safely and adjust the strength of the products to your needs. Bleaching products do not resolve discoloration caused by trauma, infection, or medication side-effects. Synthetic products like porcelain veneers do not respond well to bleaching compounds.

What are your options for teeth whitening in Flagstaff?

Whitening by a dentist near you

Your dentist can use the strongest bleaching products tailored precisely to your goals and oral health to achieve the safest and fastest possible results — in just an hour. The American Dental Association recommends teeth whitening in your dentist’s office.

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits

Over-the-counter whitening kits — some based on trays made to resemble those used in dentists offices — are available in just about every drugstore. DIY kits are less expensive than whitening by a dentist, but the bleaching compounds may only be one-fifth the strength meaning multiple applications will be required for less significant results.

Dentist-supervised at-home whitening

If you want to whiten at home but also keep your dentist involved, dentist-supervised at-home whitening offers the best of both worlds. Trays dispensed by your dentist following an assessment will include stronger bleaching compounds than what’s available in DIY kits. A typical kit provides enough material for one two-week whitening period, and for occasional touch-ups.

Whitening strips

Whitening strips — thin, plastic strips coated with a mild bleaching compound — can be purchased at drug and grocery stores and applied to your teeth yourself. They’re commonly used twice a day for a couple of weeks, but can irritate your gums and cause sensitive teeth. They’re less effective than trays and don’t fit securely or completely onto all teeth.

Whitening rinses

As a general rule, mouthwash has no effect on the color of your teeth. It’s just not in contact with your teeth long enough to make a difference. There are more and more whitening rinses offered on the market, as a separate product from mouthwash. Manufacturers claim that using them twice a day will produce some effect in three months.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpastes that are marketed to whiten your teeth don’t contain bleaching compounds. They use mild abrasives like baking soda, silica, calcium carbonate, and aluminium oxide to remove surface stains. For some patients’ teeth, whitening toothpastes are too abrasive to be a healthy option.

Whether you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening depends on factors including the color of your teeth and the cause of your discoloration. The first step in any cosmetic dentistry process should be reaching out to a dentist about teeth whitening in Flagstaff. Just ask them what they recommend for you.

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