In order to decide whether or not whitening is right for you (and which of the many whitening techniques on offer is best), understanding is key. Here are some surprising facts about whitening:
● Tooth discoloration is inevitable.
Yes, there are some bad habits out there like smoking and excessive consumption of soda and coffee, which will stain teeth more noticeably, but tooth discoloration is inevitable for us all. As we get older and the ‘shine’ or brilliance of our natural whiteness dissipates, teeth take on a more yellow hue. Certain prescription medications, such as some antibiotics or epilepsy treatments, can cause tooth discoloration. Common foods like chocolate, coffee, teas are also a main culprit.
● White teeth is not the same as healthy teeth.
Not having the whitest teeth doesn’t necessarily mean you have poor oral hygiene. Many patients brush and floss regularly yet still experience some yellowing. So, teeth whitening alone is not a path to oral health. But teeth whitening means you’ll have a brighter smile that reflects the hard work you’ve done to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
● In-office whitening is far safer and more effective than DIY.
Most pharmacies sell do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth bleaching kits that boast fast results. While these kits can get rid of surface stains, they’re unlikely to result in long-lasting whiteness.
Applying hydrogen peroxide from DIY kits can be dangerous and cause burns and discoloration to your gums. Getting teeth whitened isn’t surgery, but it’s still a delicate procedure that should be undertaken by a professional.
● There are more than a few ways to do it.
The most common form of professional teeth whitening is the use of concentrated hydrogen peroxide on the teeth followed by exposure to halogen light. The light activates the peroxide and helps it dissolve stains. Specialized versions of this procedure, such as the ZoomWhitening® method, involve several applications of a gel form of hydrogen peroxide which yield an even brighter whitening.
Laser whitening also utilizes hydrogen peroxide gel with a concentrated beam of laser light that whitens quickly. ZoomWhitening and laser whitening are both more expensive than traditional whitening procedures. If you want a brighter or quicker whitening, however, the slight increase in price may be worth it.
● There are some side effects.
The side effects of whitening are typically mild but may still be noticeable. Patients have complained of sore gums and increased sensitivity in their teeth to heat and cold. Also, since hydrogen peroxide is a powerful chemical, the enamel in your teeth can be weakened by it. (Another reason why you should think twice about DIY whitening kits. Your dentist can evaluate your enamel to ensure that any teeth whitening treatments will be both safe and effective.
Advanced Family Dental Center has a number of teeth whitening treatment options including Zoom Whitening. Please call us today at 212-481-2535 for an appointment to get a brighter smile.