What Causes a Need for Tooth Whitening?
Over the years, your teeth are getting darker and dirty looking. Indeed, there is a direct correlation between tooth color and age. Teeth darken because of tear and stains accumulation.
Dark Color of Natural Teeth
Genetically, people have different teeth color – from yellow to brown and grey. Over time, the natural color becomes more intense. Yellow and brown teeth are more responsive to whitening than grey.
Antibiotics may change the teeth color. Tetracycline usage during teeth formation causes brown-gray stains which are difficult to remove, while fluoride leaves white spots on teeth.
Oral Hygiene & Eating Habits
Poor oral hygiene as well as regular consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, oranges and other intensive-colored drinks and food provoke teeth discoloration and stains. Moreover, acidic food (citrus food, vinegar, etc.) causes the enamel erosion which, in turn, makes the yellow-colored dentin show up.
Teeth Translucency and Thinness
Being genetic traits, teeth thinness and translucency become more pronounced with age. The front teeth are thinner, more transparent and initially have less pigment, that is why, they need to be whitened first.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) not only destroys teeth enamel, but makes the biting edges dark.
It is not a secret that nicotine leaves stains, gradually ruining the tooth structure and causing discoloration.
Physical traumas can contribute to cracks in the teeth as well as provoke large stains and debris.
Not Everybody Can Be a Candidate for Teeth Whitening
You can’t whiten your teeth if:
- You have hyper sensitive teeth or gums
- You suffer from severe bruxism (teeth grinding)
- You have cavities in your teeth
- You have exposed roots
- You have ulcers in your mouth
- Your natural teeth color is brown or gray
- You are pregnant or a lactating mother
Whitening a Discolored Tooth after Root Canal
After a root canal, your teeth usually become much darker than the rest of your natural teeth.
The root canal teeth can be whitened by a special technique known as internal or non-vital whitening without using of veneers or crowns. Discoloration is removed by applying a bleaching agent to the teeth enamel. The most popular and safest agent used nowadays is sodium perborate. When mixed with hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate makes the teeth significantly whiter. In case of severe discoloration, it is safe to mix sodium perborate with a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Sometimes, several follow-up treatments are necessary to reach the white color you need.
How Long Will the Teeth Remain Whiter?
Teeth whitening is not a one-time procedure.
In order to get the desired result you may need more than one visit to a dentist. The effects of whitening procedure usually last about three years. However, this may vary depending from patient to patient. The effect is less visible if you are smoking and prefer products that can remain stain on the teeth.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance
After whitening, the teeth and gums usually feel cleaner.
For at least 3 weeks after the dental procedure, you need to stay away from drinks that stain your teeth. You can help your teeth to stay white by trying to use a straw to drink your coffee, try to brush right after drinking glass wine, and other sugary food and drinks that stain your teeth. Smoking and chewing tobacco should be avoided as well. We recommend to brush your teeth regularly with a fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentists for checkups.
Post Operative Instructions
To keep your smile white for a longer period of time, you should follow some simple instructions:
- First days after bleaching are crucial for achieving the long-standing results. This is the time when your teeth are most susceptible to having stains. So, try to avoid any intense-coloured and acidic food and beverages in your diet these days. It is preferable to avoid consumption of the following products: coffee, tea, ketchup, red wine, berries, tobacco – all darky, red and yellowish staining substances. If possible, don’t smoke during at least 48 hours after the procedure.
- Sometimes, whitening causes gum inflammation. It is a temporary side effect that usually subsides in a few days after the procedure.
- Be careful when flossing and brushing, as your teeth may be very sensitive right after the procedure. If you are prone to sensitivity, use a special anti-sensitivity toothpaste to reduce discomfort. Usually, sensitivity doesn’t linger more than 72 hours. If sensitivity persists, it’s time to contact your dental professional.
- Keeping proper home oral hygiene will help you save a white color of your teeth. The whitening effect will greatly depends on your everyday habits and genetics. In order to maintain the desired color, you will need follow-up treatments every 6-12 months. You can also use a home whitening trays to maintain the desired shade.
- Remember, that because of dehydration process the results of whitening may be mismatched. It is absolutely normal. The color usually tones down a little after the treatment. Note: if you have fillings, crowns, veneers or other restorative dentures, they won’t be whiten.
- If you have white spots on your teeth (fluorosis) that would get much whiter then rest of your teeth and after would rehydrate back to its natural color after 24-48 hours.
Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center features a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. Our friendly staff and hygienists help put our patients at ease — even the most nervous ones. Our Santa Clarita dentists also provide oral conscious and IV advanced sedation for those patients who need more help to relax.
Whether you need general dentistry services or you have more complex dental needs, our expert dental team serves patients of all ages, and we accept most dental insurance.
No matter where you’re traveling from — Valencia or Stevenson Ranch — Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center is here to serve you. Take a look at the areas we serve below and schedule a complimentary consultation today!