This New Year, make a resolution to indulge in self-care. Drink more water, make sleep a priority, and practice better dental care. Food, drink, tobacco use, certain medications, disease, and poor dental hygiene can all lead to unsightly stains and discoloration of the teeth. Fortunately, you can start the year off fresh with a whiter, brighter smile. Teeth whitening is a popular procedure that involves lightening the color of teeth using safe and effective bleach formulas. Learn more about teeth whitening, how the process is completed, and the benefits.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening is the process of making the teeth whiter to achieve a more aesthetically-pleasing smile. Bleaching products typically contain peroxide (carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) which is effective at removing both surface and deep stains on the teeth.
Bleaching procedures are commonly performed in-office by an experienced cosmetic dentist. However, there are also products that can be purchased over-the-counter. Professional bleaching products from a dentist are much stronger than those available over-the-counter and can whiten teeth faster and more effectively. Whitening agents used by dentists contain as much as 35 to 45 percent peroxide, while store-bought whitening products like trays or strips contain just 7 percent peroxide.
During an in-office teeth whitening, a whitening product is applied to the teeth using a tray made specifically for your mouth. Gel or a rubber shield is placed on the gums to protect them from irritation. As the active ingredient in the bleach is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and the color of the teeth gradually lightens.
This procedure take an average of 30 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on the initial color of the teeth and similar factors. Your dentist may recommend repeat sessions completed over three to four weeks to reach your desired results. The effects of teeth whitening can last up to three years on average.
Of course, in-office whitening is not suitable for everyone. If you prefer to whiten your teeth in the privacy of your home, your dentist can also provide traditional take-home trays. These home whitening kits contain a tray that is customized to your mouth using an impression made in your dental office. Your dentist will choose a bleaching agent and formula that is least likely to cause sensitivity or irritation to your teeth and gums. Many people start to see improvement in their smiles after the very first session.
What are the Benefits of Teeth Whitening?
A whopping 45 million Americans, or approximately 14 percent of the population, have had professional teeth whitening, according to Mintel. Professional whitening can offer many benefits, including the following:
- Achieve a more beautiful smile. Most people would agree that white teeth are directly related to attractiveness. Teeth whitening can help whiten teeth quickly to prepare you for an upcoming event or just your normal life.
- Boost your self-esteem. Not only will you look better, but you’ll also feel better about your appearance. Teeth whitening can give you an immediate confidence boost.
- Maintain a healthier smile. Once you have white teeth, you’ll want to keep them that way. You’ll be more likely to retain a strict brushing and flossing regimen that helps keep your smile free of stains and decay.
- Get the results you want faster. While over-the-counter whitening products like toothpaste, mouthwash, and whitening kits are available, these products can take considerable time to show real results. Professional teeth whitening is fast and effective.
- Keep your teeth and gums safe. One of the biggest concerns that people have when contemplating teeth whitening is safety. The good news is that teeth whitening has been deemed safe when administered by a professional.
- Open up new opportunities. Having a bright, white smile can have a direct impact on other people’s perceptions of you. Many people find that their bright and confident smile has opened doors for them they never thought possible.
Schedule Cosmetic Dentistry, Largo FL
Do you want to find a dentist that offers professional teeth whitening in Largo, FL? Bonham Dental Arts delivers family, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to help patients achieve better dental health and wellness. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.