How can you get whiter teeth? – cosmetic dentist Fremont CA
As a cosmetic dentist Fremont, I frequently have people ask how they can get whiter teeth. There are a few different options, and which one is best for you will depend on the current status of your teeth and how much whitening you’re looking for.
First, it’s useful to understand what typically causes the teeth to need whitening.
Common factors that cause discoloration of teeth
Many common foods and beverages cause surface stains on the teeth. These include coffee, tea, red wine, and curry. Basically, anything that can cause a permanent stain on your clothes can also stain your teeth. One way to protect your teeth from discoloration would be to avoid all of these foods. But what fun would that be?
Seriously, these foods and beverages are enjoyable, and I don’t encourage patients to avoid them completely just because of worries about staining their teeth. (Of course, moderation is key if you want to avoid more serious health problems.) If you’re really concerned, you could drink your coffee, tea, or wine through a straw to avoid having it touch your front teeth. However, there are better ways to keep your smile bright.
How does whitening work?
To whiten the teeth, a whitening agent is applied to the teeth and then left on for a period of time (from a few minutes to a few hours) before being removed. The most well-known whitening agent is hydrogen peroxide. This substance actually dissolves into the tooth enamel, where it breaks down the molecules that are causing the stains. Other whitening agents generally act in a similar fashion, though they may be stronger.
Professional whitening offers the most dramatic results
If you want to make a big difference in the brightness of your smile, professional whitening in your dentist’s office is the best way to get there. Your dentist uses a stronger whitening agent than you can get over the counter. In some cases, a special light can be used to accelerate the process of whitening. This allows you to get dramatic results in only one treatment.
Professional whitening is ideal for those who have a special event coming up, such as a wedding or graduation, and want to ensure that their smile looks its very best on that day. It’s also a good choice for those who want a dramatic difference in the brightness of their smile.
There are multiple options for at-home whitening
If you prefer to do your whitening at home, you have a couple of options. There are whitening kits available over the counter, but they aren’t able to provide very good results. Those that contain trays may not fit well for many people, since they’re one-size-fits-all rather than customized.
For better results, I offer take-home whitening kits. You’ll get your kit here at the office, along with instructions on how to use it. You’ll then do your whitening yourself at home, using a customized set of trays into which you place the whitening agent. In general, because the kits aren’t as strong as what I can do here in the office, you’ll need to do whitening daily for a few days in a row (up to two weeks) to get the results you’re looking for.
You may also see whitening toothpastes available in stores. These usually contain abrasives to help scrub off the stains. In some cases, they may also have small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. While whitening toothpastes can be helpful for maintaining the results of your whitening treatments (whether done at home or in the office), they aren’t enough by themselves to achieve significant results.
What can you do if whitening doesn’t work?
Some people have teeth that are discolored due to genetics, medications, or other factors besides surface staining. For these people, using whitening agents probably won’t get their teeth as bright as they’d like (although it may help).
If whitening isn’t able to achieve the results you want, veneers are another option. By covering the front surface of the teeth with white porcelain, which closely resembles natural tooth enamel (but with that perfect color), veneers create the appearance of a perfect set of pearly whites. Getting veneers can also cover up other issues with the teeth, such as chipped teeth or slight to moderate misalignment. You can get porcelain veneers from your cosmetic dentist Fremont.
Cosmetic dentist Fremont CA
If you’re seeking professional, in-office whitening, or you want to take home whitening trays, visit my office. Some people come in specifically for whitening (for instance, before a special event), while others wait until their regular check-up and have whitening at the same time.
In addition, keep in mind that professional cleanings also help to keep your smile bright, by scrubbing off surface stains and removing plaque and tartar that can hide the whiteness of your smile. This is another reason to make sure that you visit your dentist regularly.