Having an attractive smile that you feel good about is an important part of how you interact with the world. But if your teeth are yellow, stained, or discolored, it can be hard to feel confident about showing it off. At Breckinridge Dental & Orthodontics, we know that teeth whitening isn’t a one size fits all solution, so we offer multiple options to fit everyone’s needs. If you’d like to take your smile from dull to dazzling, contact us today to schedule a visit. It’s easier than you think to have a smile you love!
Even people who naturally have white teeth are likely to develop stains and discoloration over time. This occurs because the enamel naturally becomes thinner with age and begins to show the darker layer of tooth structure underneath.
Along with age, there are many other reasons for stained or discolored teeth:
Poor oral hygiene
Red wine, coffee, and tea
Developmental defects in the enamel
Medications such as certain types of antihistamines, antidepressants, and antibiotics in childhood like tetracycline
Accidents or injuries that damage the blood supply of a tooth
Stains and discoloration can be broken up into two main categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stain accumulates on the outer, surface layer of teeth (called enamel). Intrinsic stain occurs in the inner layers and leads to deeper levels of yellowing or discoloration. Professional whitening is a safe and effective way to address both types of stains.
Whitening is a chemical process that uses oxygen molecules in carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the enamel and break up and remove stains.
Store-bought options are heavily regulated, so they can’t provide the same results you’ll get from a professional whitening treatment, which will whiten your teeth by up to 8 shades. Both of the options below are not only more effective, but are also safe and less likely to cause sensitivity.
Zoom! in-office whitening is perfect for patients who want their results right away because it’s done in just 2 hours. Here’s how it works:
First, we’ll document your initial color so we can better evaluate your final results.
Then we’ll isolate your lips, gums, and cheeks to protect them before applying the Zoom! whitening solution to your teeth.
Working in 15-20 minute increments, we’ll expose your teeth to a special light that accelerates the process until your final results are achieved.
Throughout your visit, we’ll closely monitor you to make sure you don’t develop any sensitivity.
Some of our patients want to whiten more gradually from the comfort of their own home, so we also offer take-home whitening. For this choice, you can get started in just 2 visits:
At the first appointment, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to make custom whitening trays. Since they’ll fit your teeth perfectly, they provide superior results to store-bought strips.
You’ll come back in 1-2 weeks to pick up your trays along with a supply of whitening gel and instructions for use.
Then you’ll wear the trays for 30-60 minutes a day until you get your final results (usually about 10-14 days).
This varies from person to person depending on a variety of factors (e.g. the initial color of the teeth, oral hygiene habits, coffee and tea consumption, etc.) Having said that, whitening results can last up to three years, but many of our patients like to touch-up their results about once a year to keep their smile looking its best. And since you can simply re-use your custom trays, all you’ll need to do is pick up a new supply of inexpensive whitening gel and wear your trays for anywhere from several days to two weeks.
With one of these two highly effective teeth whitening options, your smile look like new again before you know it!