You might have a strict routine of brushing and flossing, and even avoid teeth-staining foods and drinks, but your teeth are still susceptible to discoloration or yellowing. If your smile has lost its brightness and shine and you want to get it back, you may be considering a tooth whitening treatment. This is one of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry and it can be found at Athens Oconee Dentistry in Watkinsville.
Teeth can lose their whiteness due to a variety of reasons. The most obvious is probably diet – many foods and drinks can stain teeth, particularly coffee, tea, and wine. Smoking and tobacco use can also badly stain teeth as they contain nicotine and tar, which can both produce surface stains and a more yellow appearance. Medications and trauma to the teeth are probably less obvious causes of teeth staining. Finally, simple aging can lead to duller-looking teeth: as the enamel layer wears away over time, the yellow dentin layer underneath shows through more easily.
The active ingredient in teeth whitening procedures is hydrogen peroxide. Over-the-counter treatments like gels, strips, and toothpastes utilize this ingredient and are effective to a point. Professional treatments such as one at Athens Oconee Dentistry produce more dramatic results because they utilize a more concentrated form of the ingredient.
Your dentist will first apply a protective gel to keep your gums from getting irritated during the procedure. The whitening gel will then be applied to the teeth, followed by a special whitening light, which activates the whitening ingredients. The gel and light will be applied alternatively two or three times more to complete the treatment. The whole procedure usually lasts about an hour and results in a smile several shades whiter. You may be provided with a take-home kit to maintain your results.
Unfortunately, this treatment is not for all patients, depending on the cause of the tooth discoloration. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings, and will also not have an effect on teeth that have been yellowed as the result of medication or a tooth injury. It’s best to speak to your dentist at Athens Oconee Dentistry about your best whitening option in Watkinsville before undergoing any treatment.