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 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 an experienced cosmetic and family dentist, providing many of her patients with professional teeth whitening throughout Atlanta, using 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.
Reasons Why Teeth Stain
Stained teeth may appear yellow or brown, with uneven coloring. Many assume stained teeth are the result of poor dental hygiene, but this is simply not true. While dental health does play a role, 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. Acidic foods can wear down the enamel on your teeth as well.
- 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. The longer food and beverages are left to sit on teeth, the more time they have to stain.
- Taking certain medications — Many common medications such as 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.
- Dental 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?
There are hundreds of teeth whitening products on the market, using several different methods. However, the most effective approach for achieving a brighter smile is to have professional whitening done at the dentist’s office. Dr. Spaulding provides the best teeth-whitening services in the Decatur area.
Professional whitening products use peroxides or oxygen compounds. These compounds have a strong reaction when contacting an organic stain found on tooth enamel. This 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
Today, there are more teeth whitening options than ever. You’ve likely seen all kinds of products and kits on the store shelves; at-home options of strips and lights promising to give you a pearly smile. So, you may be wondering if a professional teeth whitening treatment is worth your time and investment.
Patients in Decatur, Atlanta, and the surrounding areas are more satisfied with the results of 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 a single visit to our Decatur office. At home, you’ll have to spend up to 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 with one appointment.
- 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 the product and your oral health. During your consultation, Dr. Spaulding will examine your teeth and determine the best solution for brightening them.
- Longevity — In-office teeth whitening can penetrate deeper below the tooth’s surface. This allows more staining to be removed and helps keep your teeth whiter for longer than they would with at-home whitening methods.
- Cost — At-home kits typically cost less than professional teeth whitening. However, patients may find themselves purchasing many at-home whitening kits to achieve the same results they would in a single office visit—making investing in professional teeth whitening usually the wiser option.
With proper care, the results of your whitening treatment can last up to three years. To keep your smile shining for longer, avoid certain foods and drinks and maintain a pristine oral hygiene routine. Professional treatments are not only better for your dental health than over-the-counter whitening kits, but also produce longer-lasting results.
Yes! Our professional teeth whitening treatments can take your teeth from yellowed to white in just one appointment. However, some deep stains may be resistant to whitening. In cases where stains can’t be removed, Dr. Spaulding may recommend porcelain veneers as an alternative. Veneers are a great cosmetic treatment that can help you achieve a beautiful smile by concealing any cosmetic flaws.
While many people believe that yellow teeth are unhealthy or unclean, that’s not always the case. Everyone’s health and bodies are different, and your teeth are no exception. Yellowed or slightly discolored teeth can be in perfect health condition but simply have built up those stains over time from food, beverages, and a myriad of other factors.