Let’s Talk About Teeth Whitening
Who doesn’t love a bright, dazzling white smile? While even the healthiest and most cared for teeth are susceptible to discoloration and staining over time, that doesn’t mean a dull, discolored smile is something you’ll have to live with.
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments performed annually and has an extremely high patient satisfaction rate. Dr. Spaulding is a skilled cosmetic and family dentist, providing many of her patients with professional teeth whitening throughout Atlanta. She uses state-of-the-art technology to help patients achieve the smiles of their dreams.
Discover how Dr. Spaulding can revitalize your smile with professional teeth whitening in Decatur, GA.
What Causes Teeth To Stain
Many assume stained teeth are the result of poor dental hygiene. This is simply not true. While dental health does play a role, the fact is, many factors can contribute to discolored teeth. Some of the biggest culprits are:
- Foods and beverages. Coffee, tea, wine, soda, and starchy foods such as pizza, pasta, and potatoes can lead to tooth staining.
- Tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco can easily stain your teeth.
- Forgetting to brush and floss. No one has perfect dental hygiene, but brushing and flossing regularly shouldn’t be skipped.
- Taking certain medications. Many common medications, painkillers, and antibiotics can lead to tooth discoloration over time. Certain medical treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, also list discolored teeth as a side effect.
- Aging. As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel starts to wear away, exposing the yellow dentin underneath.
- Genetics. Thicker and whiter enamel runs in some families, while others are more susceptible to yellow teeth.
- Trauma. A sports injury, an auto accident, or other facial trauma can disturb enamel formation in children and discolor adult teeth as well.
- Environment. During tooth formation, too much fluoride from high levels in water or excessive use of fluoride toothpaste and rinses can cause fluorosis or white spots on the teeth.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening works in several ways, depending on the method you choose. There are hundreds of teeth whitening products on the market, with the most effective typically being professional whitening done at the dentist’s office.
Professional whitening products useperoxides or oxygen compounds. These compounds have a strong reaction when contacting an organic stain found on tooth enamel. The reaction breaks the chemical bond that holds the stain on the tooth, removing it and brightening the enamel in the process.
New developments in professional teeth whitening, such as LED lights, have allowed dentists to speed up the process and improve results. During your consultation, Dr. Spaulding will discuss your options and help you decide which is best for you.
Professional Whitening vs At-Home Whitening
There are now more teeth whitening options than ever before. You’ve likely seen all kinds of products and kits on the store shelves—so you may be wondering if professional teeth whitening is worth the time and investment.
Patients in Decatur and surrounding areas are typically more satisfied with professional teeth whitening than with at-home kits. Here are a few key differences:
- Time. With professional teeth whitening, you can see dramatic results after just one visit to our Decatur office. At home, you’ll have to spend an hour per day, often over a series of weeks, for your teeth to become a few shades whiter. When you get your teeth professionally whitened, your teeth can look up to eight shades whiter almost instantly.
- Results. Over-the-counter whitening kits may deliver the results you’re seeking, but they can also be very inconsistent. Your results will depend on the quality of your teeth and oral health. During your consultation, Dr. Spaulding will examine your teeth and determine the best course of action to treat them.
- Longevity. In-office teeth whitening can penetrate deeper below the tooth surface. This allows your teeth to stay whiter longer than they would with at-home whitening methods.
- Cost. At-home kits cost less than professional teeth whitening, although costs for either method may vary greatly. However, you’d have to purchase multiple at-home whitening kits to achieve the same results you would in a single office visit—making investing in professional teeth whitening usually the wiser option.