Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most common procedures that dentists in San Diego, CA are performing today. Many people want to have a brighter smile because it is more attractive – if teeth are dull or stained your smile will not be as impressive as if they were pearly white. In the past, teeth whitening was reserved for those who had money and fame. In fact, the procedure was so expensive that the regular person could not afford it. Today, however, because there are many more cosmetic surgeons, teeth whitening is now affordable to most people. The procedure itself, fortunately, is a painless one. There are different teeth whitening methods.

Why do teeth stain in the first place?

Some people think that stained teeth are teeth that are brown or black. As a matter of fact teeth staining is not as serious as all that. It is simply when teeth turn to a slightly yellow or grey time over time. There are several reasons why your teeth will lose their white color over time. The first is that it is a natural process and it happens to all of us. Below the upper layer of the teeth that gives it its whiteness is a slightly yellow layer called the dentin. Over time, because of brushing, the enamel wears off slightly and exposes the dentin making your teeth look slightly yellow.

The other reason for stained teeth is consumption of too much coffee and also smoking – both will eventually color your teeth. Injuries to the mouth are also a cause for yellow teeth. When the teeth senses trauma it develops an extra layer of dentin for protection.

Some medications will also cause teeth to yellow. If you are taking medication every day for high blood pressure, antipsychotics and antihistamines you should find out from your doctor whether they have any effect on the teeth.

What does the process involve?

The process itself is a really simple one. Teeth whitening products contains one of two ingredients: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both these two are bleaching agents – they get rid of stains on the teeth by splitting them into small bits. Because the bits are so small they are less apparent.

You can choose to whiten your teeth in 3 ways: you can choose to do it at home with teeth whitening gels, you can choose to have an in-office whitening using whitening gels or you can choose to have an in-office whitening using laser.

Teeth whitening at home

Many people choose this option because they don’t have enough money to pay a dentist to do it. They usually use over the counter toothpastes and other formulations. The truth is that while there are a few formulations that work, there are many more that dint. If you choose to whiten your teeth at home you should know that it may not work or it will take a long time. Also, some of the formulations that are sold for teeth whitening contain ingredients that can cause irritation to the cheeks and gums. If this happens discontinue use immediately and see a doctor or your San Diego, CA dentist.

In-office treatments using whitening gels

This kind of whitening is much more effective than home whitening because the dentist has the right products. The procedure is a simple one. The dentist will seal off your gums using a special sealant or he may choose to use a protective shield. He then applies the gel onto your teeth for some time before he cleans it off. Depending on how stained your teeth are you may have to pay your dentist several visits before your teeth are the right color. It is important to note that teeth whitening is not a procedure that is recommended for kids and teenagers. If your child has stained teeth it is best to talk to your dentist about what course of action you should take.

In office treatment using lasers

Technology now allows dentists to use lasers to whiten teeth. The procedure, although simple, is expensive but quite effective. The dentist applies a little whitening gel on the teeth and then shines a laser on them getting rid of the stains right away. Having your teeth whitened this way at least once a year ensures that your teeth never develop stains.

What are the side effects of teeth whitening?

Most people will not experience any side effects if they have their teeth whitening done by a dentist. That said, some people may experience a little irritation – this should not worry you; your dentist will give you something to get rid of it quickly. The most common complaint about teeth whitening is teeth sensitivity for a few hours. Teeth whitening is otherwise safe.