What is Teeth Whitening?

When done professionally, teeth whitening is effective at removing stains and discoloration from the enamel. Over time and under certain circumstances, teeth can discolor and become yellowed. Professional whitening involves using enamel-safe ingredients to whiten and brighten teeth. Drs. Cynthia Chen and Christopher Ching can help with your whitening procedure so that you can feel confident in your smile.

Why do you need Teeth Whitening?

An examination is needed prior to whitening to determine if the procedure is right for you. Some of the reasons your teeth may be discolored and stained as well as why you might benefit from whitening include:

  • You’re a smoker or chew tobacco
  • You drink dark or staining beverages (tea, coffee)
  • You eat staining and dark foods (chocolate, blueberries)
  • You are genetically predisposed to darker enamel
  • You are older and are experiencing natural yellowing of the teeth

Whitening can brighten teeth anywhere from four to eight shades. The results can last for months or years with proper maintenance and hygiene.

What makes you a good candidate for Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is ideal for any patient who is unhappy with the way their smile looks. If you have yellowed and discolored teeth, whitening can remove years’ worth of staining. Professional whitening is ideal for patients who have already tried at-home products with little to no success. Whitening is even ideal for patients with sensitive teeth and gums.

What happens during the procedure for Teeth Whitening?

First, you will come into the office for a thorough examination and consultation. Be aware that whitening products do not lighten restorations such as crowns, bridge work, and fillings. You will be recommended the whitening option that is right for you and can begin treatment immediately. After whitening is done, you will receive aftercare instructions so that you are able to maintain your results. Whitening is ideal for any healthy adult who wants a more beautiful smile. It is a cost-effective and highly successful alternative to other procedures.

Now that your teeth are newly whitened, what can you do to delay future yellowing? Here are a few ideas:

  • Drink with a straw. Fruit juice, soda, iced tea and iced coffee can be sipped through a straw to prevent some of the liquid from contacting your tooth enamel. Of course, some of the liquid will still touch your teeth, but it’s a good way to prevent stains nonetheless.
  • Add milk to your coffee or tea. Protein in dairy milk binds to stain-causing compounds in coffee and tea, carrying them away to your stomach. Note that it is a protein specific to dairy milk. Dairy alternatives like soy, almond and coconut milk will not have this effect.
  • Rinse with water. Plain water will rinse stain-causing compounds off your teeth. Swish with water after consuming one of the discoloring foods or beverages.
  • Enjoy crunchy vegetables. Raw broccoli or celery is a great way to stimulate saliva and gently scrub your teeth. The saliva will rinse away staining compounds.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum stimulates saliva and picks up food debris from your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth. Great oral hygiene is another important way to prevent yellowing of the enamel. Brush 2-3 times per day, but wait about half an hour after eating to do so. In the 30 minutes following a meal, your teeth enamel is sensitive because the acids in food soften it. The enamel hardens again in the half hour or so after a meal.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking is not only horrible for your health, it definitely yellows your teeth. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your whole health and your smile.

If you are interested in teeth whitening, call our office today so that we can be of further assistance to you.