A Comprehensive Guide to Teeth Whitening

July 1, 2021

A bright smile can open new avenues in both professional and personal life. With regular usage and aging, the teeth tend to lose their natural color and luster. Modern dentistry, specifically cosmetic dentistry, focuses on the aesthetic aspect of teeth. With restorative dentistry and pediatric dentist in Houston, TX, you might get alternative dental prostheses or crowns to replace natural teeth, but teeth whitening can give you a rejuvenated look.

Why Does Teeth Change Color?

A variety of reasons might contribute to the change of color of the teeth. Teeth bleaching near you can be a safe way to restore the natural color of the teeth. Depending on the degree of discoloration, the dentist might suggest in-clinic whitening treatment, or you may whiten your teeth at home under the guidance of dentists. The most common reasons for teeth discoloration are:

Food and Beverages

Caffeinated beverages as tea, coffee, red wine, and several colored foods are the main culprit to stain the teeth. Chromogens or intensely colored pigments attach to the enamel and cause teeth discoloration.

Use of Tobacco

Nicotine and tar are the tough constituents of tobacco that stain the teeth. Tar is usually dark, and nicotine is a colorless component until mixed with oxygen. Nicotine together with tar forms a yellowish stain over the enamel that is difficult to remove. Teeth bleaching in Houston can get rid of the tough stains from teeth.

Age

With time the enamel thins to expose the dentine. Enamel is white in color and bright. But the dentine is yellowish, and with aging, the teeth tend to lose their natural color and shine.

Trauma

Dental or oral trauma might lead to chipped teeth. The dentine might also be exposed, and injury can cause loss of enamel. Thus, dental trauma might lead to teeth discoloration.

Medication

Antihistamines and medication to treat high blood pressure might lead to discolored teeth. Children exposed to doxycycline at a tender age can develop stained teeth. You may visit a pediatric dentist near you to treat such issues. Chemotherapy can also cause discolored teeth.

How Teeth Whitening Works

Teeth whitening is a non-invasive process that involves comprehensive cleaning of the oral cavity followed by using bleaching agents to remove the stains from teeth. The bleaching agents work on the stains and break them into smaller pieces. The smaller hue of stains makes them easy to clean, and less concentrated stains make the teeth look brighter.

Teeth bleaching in Houston, TX, is performed by experienced dentists who might take a photograph of your teeth before treatment. The dental hygienist or the dentist then cleans the oral cavity thoroughly. The film of tartar is removed, and the enamel is dried. Generally, the saliva is kept away from the enamel during the teeth whitening process.

Your dentist applies whitening agents in the form of paste, foam, varnishes, or gel, depending on the denture and length of whitening needed. The entire teeth whitening process can last between 30 to 90 minutes and can be repeated at home under the dentist’s guidance. Some whitening treatments might need special blue light or laser lights to remove the tough dental stains.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

The most widely used form of teeth whitening at home is by using whitening strips and gels. The component for teeth whitening is hydrogen peroxide. The whitening strips may be applied on the enamel under the guidance of the dentist twice a day for 10 to 14 days for desired results. You may also use tooth whitening toothpaste which contains mild abrasives that clean the teeth thoroughly.

The Cost and Side Effects

Once you get the teeth whitened, you need not ponder over the thought, “how long does teeth whitening last?” If you maintain good oral health and avoid caffeinated food and beverages, teeth whitening can last up to 3 years. However, this period might vary from person to person.

The average cost of teeth bleaching is $650 but can rise to $1000 depending on the material used for bleaching. Urbach Pediatric Dentistry has been serving the Houston community for 3 generations and offers various pediatric dental care. With 24-hour emergency service, you would never need to wait for a dental emergency of your child. Book an appointment to know more.