Everyone wants sparkling white teeth. What many people don’t know is that standard brushing and flossing is often not enough to keep teeth as white as desired. Hundreds of over-the-counter products likes whitening strips, toothpastes, rinses, and chewing gums are available, but studies have shown that many of these products don’t noticeably whiten teeth at all. The proven way to get the smile you have always wanted is through professional dental bleaching, a service that we at McLoud Family Dentistry can expertly provide to our patients. To better understand how bleaching works, lets first look at what tooth discoloration really is.
Staining: What is it and how does it happen?
There are two types of tooth discolorations. The first and most common type of stain is extrinsic, which means the stain is on the surface of the tooth. Foods and beverages that contain pigments called chromogens are a common culprit of extrinsic staining. Chromogens attach to the white outer layer of the teeth, making teeth appear less white over time. Coffee, sports drinks, tomatoes, and berries are common culprits behind this kind of staining. Tobacco use is another lifestyle factor that can cause unsightly tooth strains. Because extrinsic stains are on the surface of teeth, simple tooth cleaning can be an effective treatment for this type of stain. However, if left on the surface of teeth for too long, extrinsic stains can become intrinsic stains, the second type of discoloration. Intrinsic stains are under the surface to the tooth, and a brushing or polishing session will definitely not treat this type of discoloration. A number of things cause intrinsic stains, but aging is can be a common factor in developing this kind of discoloration. As we age, the hard outer white part of a tooth (called enamel) wears down, which allows yellowish colored dentin inside the tooth to become more visible. Medications, including some antihistamines and antibiotics can also discolor teeth, as well as tooth trauma other conditions. Extrinsic staining can be treated right away by bleaching, but intrinsic staining may require one or two preparatory procedures before those stains can be fully treated through dental bleaching.
The Secret about Tooth Color
Another aspect of tooth coloration that many people are not aware of is that in most cases, a person’s natural tooth color is best described as off-white. This does not mean that having a smile worthy of a Crest commercial is not an admirable desire; it just means you are not going to get that smile you want by brushing five times a day or swearing off coffee and marinara sauce. Dental bleaching not only removes stains, but also can lighten teeth past their normal color, allowing you to get that brilliant white smile you want.
How Bleaching Works
There are several techniques that we use at McLoud Family Dentistry to help patients get the smile they want. Patients have the option of choosing between hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxideone, both are safe, non-toxic bleaching solutions. Carbamide peroxideone is currently very popular with patients because it has fewer side effects than hydrogen peroxide, but it is also less effective than hydrogen peroxide. At McLoud Family Dentistry, we use state-of-the art laser technology for some whitening procedures. As with any procedure a patient considering bleaching will be fully informed of the pros and cons of each option by experienced professionals before treatment is started. Some patients may not be able to undergo bleaching procedures. Like teeth cleaning, bleaching is not permanent, and so a patient seeking to maintain a smile worthy of a toothpaste commercial may require routine treatments to keep their teeth the desired shade off-white.
Contact McLoud Family Dentistry to find out more about our dental bleaching options and how you can get that attractive, confidence-boosting smile you have always wanted. Give us a call at (405) 964-2500 today!