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Does Teeth Whitening Really Work?

Professional teeth whitening

A dreamy, healthy, and pearly white smile is what many dream of. Here at Maidu Dental, Dr. Luminita Markham and the rest of the team know how to make those dreams come true. Along with our arsenal of cosmetic dentistry treatments, teeth whitening is letting many patients achieve the smile they desire. What are some advantages of a professional tooth whitening treatment over doing it at home?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and using dental floss to avoid the formation of plaque and tartar around your teeth is an excellent way to keep your teeth as healthy and clean as they are now, but there are some situations that escape our control and cause some discoloration or staining.

Check out everything we have to say about making your teeth whiter with the help of a professional team that just has your best interests at heart. Let's review which options work best in your case and how you can get the help you need here with our team.

What Makes Your Teeth Stain?

Unfortunately, there are many circumstances that can cause tooth discoloration. Patients who regularly drink coffee, black tea, red wine, and cola sodas are at risk of staining their teeth. Other habits, such as smoking, can also stain your teeth.

In some cases, patients who finish their orthodontic treatment with traditional braces and have a trusted orthodontist remove their braces will notice some staining on their teeth as the portion of the enamel under the brackets was always protected from wear and tear. Think of this type of staining as tan lines on your body.

All these causes for staining, however, could be separated by anyone into three categories:

  • Extrinsic — As a general rule, extrinsic tooth stains tend to result from our environment and habits. This is probably the largest group as it includes the foods and drinks we have regularly. Such dietary choices mixed with poor dental hygiene habits result in tooth staining. If you like to drink a lot of coffee, wine, and sodas without brushing or flossing right away, your tooth's enamel will darken and potentially cause other dental health complications.
  • Intrinsic — This type deals with stains that originate from problems inside your tooth. Significant traumas directly to your tooth cause a chipped tooth and broken or fractured teeth leading to a yellow tint. Aside from these impacts, you should consider that damages caused by some antibiotics or conditions like fluorosis will also cause staining.
  • Age-related — Dentin will naturally turn yellow in color as time progresses. The reason is that the enamel layer becomes thinner, exposing the dentin underneath. Furthermore, adults who have tooth staining habits make their teeth grow more discolored over time as the habits continue.

What’s the Difference Between Take-Home and In-Office Whitening Treatments?

Professional teeth whitening

We can't just stop bringing this up, but we make these resources available to you because they're much safer than store-bought tooth whitening options. Grocery stores and drug stores have some of those products in stock but may require weeks or months of use. Even then, you may not like the results you get.

Professional whitening kits use more powerful whitening agents. These highly-concentrated gels require training to use and your specialists at Maigu Dental can help you get the results you want. If you have questions about store-bought whitening kits, you should first consult with a professional, such as Dr. Markham.

In-office treatments enjoy close supervision from our entire team so we can monitor your situation closely and ensure you are completely satisfied with your cosmetic results.

Which Teeth Whitening Options Will Work Best for Me?

Base your decision on these factors: time, convenience, and cost. Take-home kits are not as expensive as in-office treatments because you only pay for the materials and not the services from all the staff.

  • In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening is the fastest way to achieve whiter teeth. The specialists will apply the whitening formula directly to your teeth, then just relax in our office for the following hour. Our staff can also accelerate or strengthen the effects with other resources, such as specialized lighting and laser applications.

Whitening treatments within the office setting take a much shorter period than those you have to do back home on your own. You can whiten your teeth by several shades just within the hour. Besides, you will remain under the supervision of your dentist and experienced staff members. Finally, you should consider that our team will ensure your gums are protected from the bleaching agents.

Teeth Whitening Levels

  • At-Home Whitening

At-home whitening is slightly different because the kits will look different.

    • Whitening strips that go directly over your teeth and then get removed after some time. These will typically be used once a day over the course of a week.
    • Whitening gels or pastes poured into a general size plastic tray. Use the trays like a retainer, following the instructions every day.
    • Whitening toothpaste you can use in conjunction with whitening mouthwashes available today. These products require constant use to achieve your results.

These kits might be the most convenient option for you, especially during home-office periods. You could leave the routine for your evenings or weekends. If you can't set aside an hour for a dentist appointment, you might be better off with take-home whitening treatments.

At-home kits are also more affordable but not as effective when compared to in-office treatments. Professional teeth whitening is a highly effective option, but it requires a bit more of an investment.

Who Can Get Their Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening is something almost everyone can get, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. People who fit any of the following descriptions would do well to refrain from this treatment and ask their dentist about alternatives.

  • Children under the age of 13.
  • Pregnant and lactating women.
  • Patients with ongoing dental treatments or hypersensitive teeth.
  • Orthodontic treatment patients.
  • People who have cosmetic implants or treatments that cover the entire front of the tooth, such as bridges, crowns, veneers, or implants.

Tips to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

Teeth are beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. So it would be great if we could keep them as the bright and white pieces we love seeing. Follow along some of these tips to avoid increasing the risk of tooth staining.

  1. Reduce the frequent consumption of staining beverages or at least consider drinking them with a reusable straw.
  2. Brush and floss every day.
  3. Try switching to a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash for some time.
  4. Visit our office for teeth cleaning and an exam every six months.
  5. Avoid using the so-called express whitening techniques in malls that could irritate your teeth and gums.

Get Help from a dentist in Auburn

During your teeth whitening consultation at our Auburn, CA office, Dr. Markham will be glad to recommend which treatments fit your goals and circumstances best. All options will help you achieve a drastically whiter smile. To learn how Maidu Dental can brighten your smile, contact our office online or call (530) 823-8771.

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Maidu Dental - Your Trusted Dental Partner in Auburn, CA

Our Auburn dental office serves residents of Auburn, Newcastle, Loomis, Granite Bay, Cool, Georgetown, Pilot Hill, Grass Valley, Colfax, Meadow Vista, Lake of the Pines, Nevada City and the surrounding communities.