With professional teeth whitening, you can gain a brighter, more attractive smile that can enhance your overall appearance. Teeth can become stained for a number of reasons. The most common stains are external, or extrinsic, which are caused by foods, drinks, and tobacco. Over time, teeth change color naturally, and the result can be an older, less healthy-looking smile. Dr. Joseph Morris can help eliminate tooth enamel stains with safe and effective, professional-grade teeth whitening at his Islip, NY, dental practice.
What Causes Dental Stains?
Our teeth are incredibly durable. The calcium and phosphorus in enamel creates amazing strength. But while it is very strong, tooth enamel is also porous. Teeth are highly sensitive to certain food and beverages, as well as tobacco.
Some foods and beverage have more staining power than others, based on a few characteristics. Red wine, for instance, causes enamel stains due to chromagens, which are dark compounds that adhere to teeth. Coffee and tea contain tannins, which give chromagens more sticking power.
These stains, as well as the yellowed discoloration that occurs with age, are known as extrinsic stains. Internal, or intrinsic stains, are more yellow or gray in color, and may best be treated with veneers or bonding. Intrinsic stains are more difficult, if not impossible, to treat through teeth whitening.
How Teeth Whitening Works
The bleaching power in teeth whitening products comes from a safe amount of hydrogen peroxide. Topically applied to teeth, the whitening gel soaks into pores and lifts stains. Dr. Morris offers two kinds of teeth whitening, in-office and at-home. Both are equally effective at brightening tooth enamel.
Teeth whitening is a simple, effective solution, with options to serve your schedule and budget.
During an in-office teeth whitening treatment, we will first place a protective barrier over the gums, so that they are less exposed to the whitening gel. We then apply the potent, safe gel to teeth, and expose your teeth to a special light that initiates the chemical reaction that lifts stains from tooth enamel. The gel is left on teeth for approximately 15 minutes. We will remove the gel and repeat this process a few more times, as specified in your treatment plan. You will leave the office with teeth that are up to eight shades lighter than when you arrived.
If you decide to undergo teeth whitening in the comfort of your own home, we will fabricate custom-fitted plastic trays from a mold of your mouth. One tray is created for the top arch, and one for the bottom. The whitening gel and instructions are included in the take-home kit. Patients should wear the trays daily for about one hour, or as directed. Total treatment time takes seven to 14 days. Results are slower with at-home whitening, but will be fully present at the end of your treatment. We recommend keeping your trays for future re-treatment.
Maintaining Your New Smile
Professional whitening, whether completed in our office or at-home, is temporary. Tooth enamel will continue to stain when you consume darkly pigmented foods and drinks, or tobacco. How long your results last will depend on how often teeth are exposed to these stain-causing elements.
If teeth become discolored, you can choose to undergo additional treatment to enjoy a bright, bold smile once again. During your initial appointment, we will discuss our Whitening for Life program. This program provides you with custom-fitted whitening trays and gel, and at every checkup, we provide free gel for re-treatment at home.
Get Started on a Sparking Smile Now
If you are considering a brighter smile for more confidence in your appearance, teeth whitening is a simple, effective solution, with options to serve your schedule and budget. Contact us today to schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Morris.