Teeth Whitening

Everyone wants a dazzling smile. But teeth are prone to staining, even if we brush and floss regularly. And the problem gets worse as we get older. The solution is teeth whitening. You could try over-the-counter products like whitening toothpastes or DIY teeth bleaching kits. However, these attempts to brighten smiles are often disappointing. They may also damage teeth and other areas of the mouth.

Fortunately, there’s another way to perfect your smile – teeth whitening by a dentist. In this post, you can find out all about teeth staining and the advantages of professional teeth whitening at Plymouth’s Metropolitan Prosthodontics dental center.

Why Do Teeth Become Stained?

Teeth staining is a common problem caused by dark-colored pigments in many of the foods and drinks we enjoy. Culprits include curries, tomato-based pasta sauces, berries, coffee, tea, and red wine. Smoking also stains teeth. This type of tooth discoloration is known as extrinsic staining because it’s caused by external factors.

Teeth can also become discolored due to intrinsic staining. This includes the effects of structural changes in teeth as we age. The outer, enamel layer of teeth gets thinner while the underlying dentin becomes thicker and darkens. Because enamel is translucent, this makes teeth look yellow.

Teeth Whitening Options

Several teeth whitening options are available, including:

  • Drugstore teeth bleaching trays.
  • Whitening toothpastes.
  • Whitening mouthwashes.
  • Homemade teeth whitening concoctions. 
  • Professional teeth whitening in a dental office.
  • Professional take-home whitening trays from our Plymouth prosthodontists.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening Trays

The hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in teeth whitening trays needs to be used with care. It can potentially damage teeth, the tongue, gums, and inner cheeks. Drugstore teeth whitening trays are mass-produced, one-size-fits-all products. This can result in a poor fit, with bleaching agent leaking into other areas of the mouth and causing problems. And if not used properly, whitening trays can also damage dental enamel.

At-home whitening trays from your Plymouth prosthodontist are custom made from an impression of your mouth. This ensures a perfect fit to prevent peroxide leakage. Making sure the bleaching agent stays in close contact with your teeth also results in faster whitening than over-the-counter trays. And you’ll get detailed instructions from a dental professional on how to use your whitening trays safely and get the most from your whitening treatment. Dentist-supervised use of teeth whitening trays is endorsed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) as a safe whitening option.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes contain chemicals to break down stains and abrasives to polish teeth. Like store-bought teeth whitening trays, whitening toothpastes can be tough on dental enamel, and with prolonged use may cause tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.

These toothpastes may remove surface blemishes, but most won’t lighten deeper staining. This is because, like over-the-counter whitening trays, they contain a weaker bleaching agent than dentists can use. The higher concentrations of peroxide that dental professionals are allowed to use produces better, safe results that are easier to maintain.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Whitening Mouthwashes

Rinsing your mouth every day with a whitening mouthwash may work on minor surface stains to prolong the effects of other teeth whitening methods. However, unlike professional teeth whitening, it can take a few months before you get any noticeable results. And these mouth rinses can’t get teeth as white as professional whitening treatment.

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Homemade Whitening Remedies

You’ll find a lot of suggestions for homemade teeth whitening concoctions online. The benefits of these whitening remedies tend to be dubious. Some may be safe, but others could damage your teeth by eroding tooth enamel. The safest way to whiten your teeth is by getting whitening treatment from a dentist.

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening by dental professionals such as our Plymouth prosthodontists works faster and produces better results than over-the-counter teeth whitening merchandise. It’s also the safest way to get a sparkling smile. Professional teeth whitening is carefully supervised. This allows use of a stronger peroxide bleaching agent to achieve better results.

Treatment is customized to your individual goals to give you the level of brightness you’re looking for, in the areas you want it most. Professional teeth whitening addresses the problems of both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. It removes stains from enamel and changes the color of the underlying dentin.

There are two types of professional teeth whitening – a procedure at the dental office (chairside whitening) and custom whitening trays to use at home. Both methods work more quickly and produce longer-lasting results than off-the-shelf whitening trays. An increasing number of people are choosing at-home whitening trays from their dentist because of the advantages over chairside whitening and drugstore whitening products.

Professional At-Home Whitening vs. Chairside Whitening

While chairside teeth whitening produces the best outcome, it’s also the costliest whitening option, mainly because of the demands on your dentist’s time. Take-home whitening trays from your Plymouth prosthodontist are more affordable and work more effectively than over-the counter teeth bleaching kits.

These whitening trays also allow you to get a sparkling smile more conveniently, around your own schedule and in the comfort of your home. You simply fill the custom whitening trays with prescription-strength whitening gel we give you and wear them about an hour a day for 10 days to two weeks. Your teeth will then be several shades whiter.

How to Get the Most from Professional Teeth Whitening in Plymouth

If you invest in professional teeth whitening, you want the results to last. Here are a few simple steps to make sure you get the best outcome from whitening treatment.

  • Get a professional dental cleaning first. A deep clean by a dental professional eliminates plaque and tartar build-ups. This allows the whitening agent to penetrate and remove deeper stains.
  • Get regular dental exams. Regular checkups and cleanings by your dentist after teeth whitening will keep your teeth in the best health and deter surface staining.
  • Rinse your mouth after consuming dark-colored foods or drinks. This washes away these substances before they have time to stain your teeth heavily. Drinking plenty of water will help too.
  • Use at-home whitening trays from your Plymouth prosthodontist as directed, taking special care not to overfill them.