Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Having white and healthy teeth has become a growing and important necessity in our present culture and society. For this reason, since a few years now, there are more and more people paying attention to their teeth and their looks, mainly due to aesthetic reasons.
Is normal that with time, teeth tend to stain or discolor due to the consumption of certain foods or drinks, chronic administration of some medicine or the realization of certain dental procedures that eliminate the natural color of the patient´s teeth.
Therefore, considering the increase in the demand for cosmetic treatments, specialists in the field of cosmetic dentistry have been creating and applying several procedures to fulfill people´s dreams of having white and natural-looking teeth.
As a professional Corpus Christi Dentist office, Gonzalez Family Dentistry can set up an appointment for a teeth whitening treatment that will have you smiling with confidence. Please reach out to us for an initial exam and cleaning so that we can move forward with teeth whitening program that is right for you.
Gonzalez Family Dentistry is also a Corpus Christi Dentist who can treat dental patients for a variety of other preventative and corrective dental issues such as routine exams and cleaning, impacted teeth, braces and invisalign advice and steps to take, fillings, veeners, extractions and dentures. Please fill out our form on the bottom of the page here.
What is teeth whitening?
Among these aesthetic procedures, there is the teeth whitening, a dental treatment based on the reduction of a few color tonalities, achieving the desired grade of white, without removing any of the tooth surface. This procedure has grown its popularity in the last years, especially thanks to its capacity of being used in patients with different types of dental discoloration.
There are diverse types of teeth whitening procedures that use different chemical agents at various concentrations, increasing the benefits for each individual. This is not a painful procedure for the patient, which can return to its daily routine in no time (1).
What is the difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching?
While the American Dental Association (ADA) has defined the differences between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching, often the terms are used interchangeably. Yet, there is quite a difference between them.
A whitening process for teeth describes the process of restoring the natural color of the teeth by removing stains from their surface with the help of certain cleaning agents, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses. On the other hand, bleaching teeth refers to whitening teeth beyond their natural color by using active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to do so (2).
Why do teeth change color?
Over time, the teeth can go from white to not so bright for a number of reasons, which include:
· Food and drink. Coffee, tea, and red wine are among the major staining elements people consume. They have intense color pigments known as chromogens that can affect the white, outer part of the teeth called enamel.
· Tobacco. Tar and nicotine are found in tobacco, two elements that can harm the teeth coloration with constant consumption. While tar is naturally dark, nicotine is colorless until it is mixed with oxygen, taking the characteristic yellowish color that attaches to the tooth enamel.
· Age. With time, the enamel layer gets thinner with regular brushing, allowing the inner layer of dentin to show through with its yellowish coloration.
· Medications. Certain pharmaceutical elements, such as antihistamines, antipsychotics, and high blood pressure medicine can produce tooth darkening. Some antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline can discolor the children´s teeth when these are forming, becoming less white later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken the teeth.
What are the different options for teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening options go from gentle and easy-to-use surface whiteners to stronger ones that can also remove deeper and older stains. Nowadays, there are many different types of teeth whitening products, including:
· Stain removal toothpastes. By using the scrubbing properties of certain elements, toothpastes help remove surface tooth stains. However, it is important to search for the ADA seal of approval for stain removal in the package. Unlike bleaching products, these toothpastes do not change the color of the teeth, they just help to remove stains.
· In-office bleachers. Based on the use of chairside bleaching, these usually only require one visit to the dentist. For more dental protection, the health professional will apply a protective gel or a rubber shield. These bleachers can change the color of the teeth faster than other methods.
· At-home bleachers. These can be provided by the dentist with a series of instructions on how to use them. Some patients may prefer this method because they feel more comfortable whitening their teeth at home, while they follow a professional´s guidance. These bleachers can take from a few days to a few weeks to make their effect.
· Over-the-counter bleachers. These products, which include special toothpastes and bleaching strips, are sold online or at local grocery stores. The concentration of the bleaching agent found in these products is lower than what is found in the in-office bleachers. Discussing this option with the dentist is necessary to avoid side effects or complications, however, many of these products are approved by the ADA (3, 4).
You can set up an initial appointment or find out more information if you are having issues or if you and your family would like to have a new family dentist. Our contact information can be found here. We cannot wait to hear from you. Have a great day.