How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Team Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening

Having pearly whites that are actually white is something many of us would love to have. This is even more true for those who have just completed their orthodontic treatment - with beautifully straight teeth. Though no matter how well you manage your oral hygiene, the white enamel of teeth can get dull and stained over time. Good news - professional teeth whitening is known to leave your teeth many shades whiter than you’d ever imagine. 

Let’s take a look at the basics of teeth whitening so that you can have an understanding of how it works. 

Why Teeth Become Stained

Brushing and flossing daily as well as visiting your dentist for routine cleanings every six months are important for maintaining healthy teeth - though they are not the only factors that contribute to the color of your teeth. Everything you do throughout your day has the potential to stain your teeth, including some things that you don’t have much control over at all. 

So, what makes teeth stained? 

  • Foods that are acidic or contain heavy dyes, as well as beverages, such as coffee, tea, and red wine
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Select prescription medications
  • Chewing or smoking tobacco
  • Genetics/Aging

Despite years of smoking or drinking coffee, teeth whitening can remove the stains and give you a fresh start. 

How Does Teeth Whitening Work? 

Most professional teeth whitening treatments involve the use of carbide peroxide. This is how you get the most vibrant results - even in just one treatment. Peroxides contain oxygen molecules that work their way into the stains on the surface of the teeth and react by dissolving the bond it has to the enamel. This leaves the teeth with nothing but their natural, white color. 

Let’s take a look at what a teeth whitening procedure looks like. 

For in-office whitening treatments, the bleaching agent is applied directly to your teeth and then a special light activates its whitening power. During the procedure, in order to prevent any irritation, your lips and gums are carefully guarded. 

If you choose at-home teeth whitening, then your dentist will create custom-fit bleaching trays using quick digital impressions. You then apply the carbide peroxide to the trays and place them in your mouth. The frequency and length of time this treatment lasts are personalized for each patient. It may take a few days or a couple of weeks before you can achieve the results you are looking for. 

In-office professional whitening works quickly and can handle the toughest stains whereas the at-home whitening kit is more geared toward those individuals with minor stains. 

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Whitening

It can be tempting to want to try teeth whitening kits you see at your local drug store or discount store. After all, they are often less expensive and are convenient to grab whenever you want. The difference is in the results. 

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits use peroxide, too, but at a much lower concentration when compared with professional treatments. This is done to protect consumers from causing any damage to their enamel since they don’t have any professional guidance. The result? Your teeth will not likely reach your desired shade of white. 

Stick with professional teeth whitening from Desert Orthodontics. You are sure to get the results you are looking for - and your new shade of white will make your smile look spectacular. 

To learn more or to get started, contact us today at 575-521-0900. Or, request an appointment online.