Stained teeth can be a source of discomfort for many, impacting not just oral health but also the smile’s brilliance. Everyday habits, like drinking coffee or tea, can contribute to this discoloration, gradually dimming the natural whiteness of teeth. Our teeth whitening in Destin, FL, is a simple and effective solution for those seeking to rejuvenate their smile.
At Runnels Orthodontics, we were founded by Dr. Scott Runnels, a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, and we understand the importance of a bright smile. Dr. Runnels has extensive orthodontic expertise and has been an asset to the practice since we opened our doors in 1999. Teeth whitening is a step toward revitalizing your smile, and we look forward to helping you get rid of your persistent stains.
What Causes Teeth Discoloration?
Discoloration of the teeth can stem from a variety of sources, ranging from dietary choices to environmental factors. Regular consumption of deeply pigmented foods and beverages, like red wine and berries, often leads to stained teeth. Certain medications, tobacco use, and the natural aging process can also contribute to the gradual loss of brightness. Teeth whitening can address many of these causes in just one session.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Teeth whitening at Runnels Orthodontics is a cosmetic dental treatment designed to improve the overall appearance of your teeth by lightening their color. This process involves breaking down stains and discoloration on the tooth surface. The key to this treatment is the use of bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
These agents work by penetrating the enamel and breaking down the chemical bonds of the stains in a process known as oxidation, effectively removing surface-level discoloration. During the treatment, a high concentration of the bleaching agent is applied directly to the teeth, and a light is used to activate the whitening process, achieving a noticeable lightening of the teeth by several shades.
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
The duration of the effects of teeth whitening can vary significantly based on individual habits and oral hygiene practices. Typically, the results can last from six months to two years, with factors like smoking, and the consumption of staining foods and drinks influencing this timeline. Regular oral care and occasional touch-up treatments can help maintain the whiteness for longer periods.
How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Compare to At-Home Kits?
Professional teeth whitening performed by an orthodontist offers more potent and rapid results compared to at-home kits. The expertise of an orthodontist ensures that the whitening process is tailored to individual needs, taking into account factors like tooth sensitivity and the degree of staining. While home kits can be convenient, they generally contain lower concentrations of bleaching agents and require more prolonged use to achieve noticeable results.
What Factors Can Influence the Longevity of Teeth Whitening?
Post-teeth whitening treatment, dietary habits play a crucial role in determining the longevity of the results. Consuming foods and beverages that are prone to staining can quickly diminish the effects of the whitening. To prolong the brightness, you may want to minimize intake of these items or brush your teeth soon after their consumption.
Maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine can help extend the life of your teeth whitening results. Regular brushing, flossing, and the use of an antiseptic mouthwash help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can cause discoloration. Routine dental check-ups and cleanings also play a role in preserving the whiteness.
Tobacco products, whether smoked or chewed, are notorious for causing teeth staining. Continual use of tobacco can quickly counteract the effects of a teeth whitening treatment, leading to yellowing and surface stains. Ceasing tobacco use is not only beneficial for oral health but also essential for maintaining whitening results.
As one ages, the enamel on teeth naturally wears down, making teeth more susceptible to discoloration. While teeth whitening can be effective at any age, older individuals may notice that the whiteness doesn’t last as long as it would in younger patients, primarily due to the natural changes in tooth structure and enamel density.
Periodic maintenance treatments are important for sustaining the effects of a teeth whitening treatment. These treatments can help in tackling new stains and keeping the teeth consistently bright. The frequency and type of maintenance treatments will depend on individual circumstances and should be discussed with a dental professional.
Maintaining Your Whitened Smile
The Best and Worst Foods for Keeping Your Teeth White
After teeth bleaching, it’s important to be mindful of dietary choices. Foods like strawberries, apples, and cheese are considered beneficial as they can help naturally clean your teeth and prevent staining. On the contrary, foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and soy sauce, known for their strong pigments, should be consumed in moderation to avoid staining. Drinking water after consuming such items can also help in minimizing their staining effects.
The Best Dental Hygiene Products to Use
To maintain the results of your teeth whitening, choosing the right dental hygiene products is essential. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, particularly those containing fluoride, can be effective in maintaining your new smile. It’s also advisable to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and dental floss regularly to prevent plaque buildup and surface stains. Consult your dental professional for recommendations tailored to your specific oral health needs.
Schedule Follow-Up Appointments
To preserve the effects of teeth whitening, scheduling follow-up appointments at an orthodontist’s office is recommended. Typically, it’s safe to undergo professional teeth whitening treatments every 6 to 12 months, depending on individual circumstances and the specific type of whitening treatment used. These regular visits not only help maintain the brightness of your smile but also provide an opportunity for your orthodontist to monitor your overall oral health.
FAQs About Teeth Whitening
What Will My Teeth Whitening Treatment Be Like?
At the orthodontist’s, teeth whitening starts with an oral health check. The whitening agent is then applied, with the treatment’s duration varying based on your teeth’s condition. Your comfort and understanding of the process are prioritized throughout the treatment.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Teeth Whitening?
The best candidates for teeth whitening treatment are individuals with healthy, unrestored teeth that have yellowish stains. It’s less effective for gray tones or discoloration from certain medications. Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and those with sensitive teeth or allergies should consult with their dentist first.
Will My Teeth Be Sensitive After My Appointment?
Post-whitening, some might experience temporary tooth sensitivity, especially those with a history of stained teeth or sensitivity. This usually subsides quickly, and your orthodontist might suggest special toothpaste or other remedies to help. Following aftercare instructions is crucial for comfort and maintaining the whitening results.
Resolve Stained Teeth With Professional Teeth Whitening
Exploring teeth whitening options at an orthodontist’s office can significantly enhance your smile and overall dental health. At Runnels Orthodontics in Destin, FL, we are ready to assist you with effective teeth whitening solutions. To learn more about teeth whitening or to schedule a consultation, please reach out to us at (850) 269-0333 or fill out our online form.