Having a bright, white smile is often associated with beauty and health, but many people have staining that can cause their teeth to appear discolored. Teeth whitening is a process that can help lighten stained teeth. While many over-the-counter products are available, professional teeth whitening can provide superior results.
At Runnels Orthodontics, we offer services that are centered around our patients. We work hard to improve your dental health as well as the appearance of your smile. We look forward to helping you achieve a whiter smile through our teeth whitening treatments in Destin, FL.
The Anatomy of a Tooth and Why Discoloration Happens
Each of your teeth consists of an outer enamel layer, an underlying dentin layer, and a soft pulp in the center. Tooth discoloration most commonly affects the enamel or dentin layers of the tooth. Intrinsic stains are stains that come from inside. This can be the result of medical conditions, certain medications, or genetics.
Extrinsic staining comes from external sources such as drinking coffee and tea, smoking, or eating certain types of food. Extrinsic staining tends to be easier to treat, while intrinsic staining is often best treated with professional teeth whitening.
Overview of Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can be achieved using several different methods. Some people may choose at-home whitening kits or whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. However, in-office procedures often provide the quickest and most noticeable results. Professional treatments can also offer a greater degree of customizability and can prevent damage to the teeth.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Professional teeth whitening treatments rely on active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which act as bleaching agents. These teeth-bleaching ingredients are able to penetrate the porous enamel of your tooth to reach discolored molecules in the dentin layer. They work to break the bonds of these molecules, dispersing the components that are causing the discoloration. This process, called oxidation, works on both intrinsic and extrinsic stains.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedures
During your in-office treatment, we will determine the current shade of your teeth and talk about how much lighter you would like them to be. Then we apply the bleaching gel to your teeth where it will remain in contact with the treatment area for a specific amount of time. While the agent is on your teeth, we use a laser or light to activate it.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments?
Teeth whitening treatments can last a long time when performed by an orthodontist. Our treatments can break down discoloration more effectively, leading to longer results, especially with proper aftercare.
Safer and More Effective
Not all teeth whitening methods are safe for your teeth. By going to your orthodontist for treatment, you can help protect your teeth from damage due to incorrectly treated stains.
With professional teeth bleaching, you can enjoy results that are customized to your preferences and that look very natural.
Pain-Free and No Downtime
While some people may experience sensitivity during professional teeth whitening, this treatment is virtually pain-free. You also don’t have to worry about having any downtime as you can do all of your normal activities right after the treatment.
Maintaining Your White Smile
After undergoing a teeth whitening treatment, there are steps that you can take to maintain your brighter smile. Make sure to keep up with your regular dental hygiene routine including brushing and flossing. You should have regular dental check-ups to help monitor the health of your teeth and manage any potential discoloration. You may also want to reduce habits that can cause stained teeth such as drinking coffee, smoking, or eating highly pigmented foods.
Teeth Whitening FAQ
Who Can Qualify for Teeth Whitening?
This type of treatment can be suitable for a wide range of patients. Patients who are the best candidates for teeth whitening are those who have healthy teeth and gums that don’t have any fillings or cavities.
What Types of Stains Respond the Best?
While many different types of stained teeth can be addressed, treatments generally work best on yellowish stains rather than brown and gray discolorations. However, the best way to find out if a treatment will work well in your situation is by scheduling a consultation and having us examine your teeth.
How Can I Reduce Sensitivity After Teeth Whitening?
Some people can experience some sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures or touch in the few days following teeth whitening treatments. You can help to reduce teeth sensitivity following your treatment by using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth until the sensation goes away. We may also apply a fluoride gel to your teeth following treatment to help.
Whiten Your Smile With Runnels Extras
At Runnels Orthodontics, many of our patients are proud of their teeth after the process of straightening them using braces or Invisalign. One of the best ways to draw more attention to your new smile is to also invest in aesthetic services such as teeth whitening. We offer these extra services to help make your smile even more beautiful.
Whether you have stained teeth from incorporating too many highly colored foods into your diet or from circumstances that are beyond your control, you can schedule an appointment with us to determine if our teeth whitening services are right for you. You can chat with us online or fill out a contact form on our website to get started. You can also call us at (850) 257-7222 to get more information about our services in Destin, FL.