Want a brighter and healthier smile? Try teeth whitening treatment in our Bladenboro, NC dental office. Stains and tooth discoloration can be caused by smoking, tobacco use, certain foods and beverages, and even age. Nicotine found in cigarettes and tobacco stains and yellows the teeth over time.
Foods and beverages like tea, coffee, wine, tomato sauce, and berries contain chromogens. Chromogens are pigments that adhere to the tooth enamel and cause stains. Our tooth enamel can wear down as we age, showing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a dark under-layer that makes the teeth look discolored. As teeth age, they begin to appear discolored, however, whitening can help to fix this.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that can brighten tooth enamel by multiple shades in just one office visit. Dr. Shannon French will help you determine whether in-office or take-home whitening treatment suits you. Some patients want immediate results. Others may be more sensitive to bleaching agents and require gradual treatment. We offer multiple options to meet your smile desires and needs.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Many different things can discolor teeth. One of those is simply aging. As we age, the bright white layer of enamel on the outside of our teeth starts to wear away. This exposes more of the off-white dentin layer underneath, giving teeth a yellowish color. Tobacco use in any form causes yellowish staining on the teeth. Nicotine and other chemicals cause yellow or brown stains on the teeth, burrowing deep into the enamel. This makes them harder to get rid of.
Certain foods and beverages stain the teeth, too. These include red wine, coffee, strawberries, and black tea. The more you consume these items, the more discoloration you’ll experience. This is especially true if you aren’t properly handling oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar buildup creates a brown and yellow film on the teeth that penetrates the tooth enamel.
Certain medications have side effects that can darken or yellow your teeth. Various antibiotics given to children when their teeth are developing can cause deep discoloration in the tooth. Trauma that impacts your dental pulp can cause the teeth to darken because of blood vessel breakage. If you have deep tooth decay and cavities, You may have dark spots or darker teeth as well.
Am I a Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
If you have healthy teeth and healthy gums but have discolored teeth, whitening treatment is a good option. Pregnant patients or those sensitive to whitening agents may not be good candidates for professional whitening.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. French; she will find the best whitening option for you. Dr. French examines the gum and tooth structures to see if there are any underlying problems, such as gum disease or dental infections. These will need to be treated before any whitening solution can be applied.
Even if you have deep stains resistant to teeth whitening treatment, our office has other options to help brighten your smile. Porcelain veneers and tooth bonding treatments cover the tooth enamel and can change the color of the teeth. Veneers are shells of porcelain ceramic that adhere to the front of teeth. Dental bonding uses a biocompatible material that is molded onto the enamel.
Teeth Whitening Treatment
Teeth whitening treatment starts with Dr. French or a member of her team cleaning and polishing the teeth. This is done to ensure that the whitening treatment penetrates the enamel and that whitening is even. It will also ensure that Dr. French then protects the gums with a barrier for minimal sensitivity.
She applies a whitening agent to the surface of your teeth. Once activated, the agent is left on the teeth for several minutes and washed off. This process is then repeated several times until we reach the desired results. We can also provide take-home whitening for gradual yet effective treatment.
It is normal to experience some tooth sensitivity following your whitening treatment. Avoid cold or hot beverages, as this can exacerbate sensitivity. For at least 24 hours after your treatment, avoid highly pigmented beverages like tea, coffee, and wine. These can stain your enamel and erase your results.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
Do you have further questions about teeth whitening services in our office? Continue reading to learn more and find answers to frequently asked questions in our office.
What are my options for professional teeth whitening?
Our office offers both in-office and take-home whitening treatment options. Typically, in-office whitening is used when you need results fast, like if you have an important event coming up. In-office teeth whitening provides quick, noticeable results that can brighten your smile by up to 8 shades in a single visit.
Take-home whitening is a more gradual process and will whiten your teeth over a few weeks. This involves using multiple whitening trays provided by our office, but they are to be used at home. Patients can whiten their teeth gradually with the trays until they reach their desired shade. We can determine which option is right for you at your cosmetic consultation.
How long does teeth whitening take?
This depends on which option you’re opting for. In the office, whitening usually takes about an hour, and results gradually appear 24 to 48 hours after whitening. Take-home whitening is done in a determined number of weeks. Dr. French will determine the exact amount of time you should use whitening trays at home. Patients gradually whiten their teeth with at-home teeth whitening, so the amount of time it takes to reach a desired shade varies per individual.
When will I see the full results of teeth whitening?
For in-office whitening, you see the ideal results in about 24 hours. This is why it’s preferred for people who want whiter teeth soon, such as for an upcoming event. In-office whitening can drastically whiten your smile quickly. Take-home teeth whitening takes about two to three weeks to see the full results.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
No, teeth whitening shouldn’t hurt. Since professionals do it, we ensure the bleaching agent doesn’t contact gums and soft tissue. We take preventive measures in our office to ensure that the whitening solution does not cause any harm to your gums. You may feel some sensitivity to heat and cold in the days following your whitening treatment. However, this will go away shortly after your whitening treatment has settled.
How often can I get my teeth whitened?
We recommend that you whiten your teeth only once or twice a year. Even with a professional gel designed to minimize sensitivity, it can increase sensitivity if used too much. It can also cause your teeth to be unnaturally white, which can be unnerving. We will let you know how often it is safe to whiten your teeth professionally to ensure that no damage is caused.
How long do the results of teeth whitening last?
On average, they typically last from around six months to a year. This usually depends on how well you care for your teeth and your lifestyle habits. Smoking or drinking coffee or tea regularly causes staining, and your whitening results won’t last as long. If you take good care of your teeth, results can last as long as three years.
Do my teeth have to be clean before whitening?
Teeth whitening works best when your teeth are freshly cleaned. We recommend you schedule your teeth whitening treatment after dental cleaning in our office. Clean teeth mean you shouldn’t have splotchy results from plaque buildup on your teeth while whitening. Having your teeth cleaned before whitening offers the best results.
Am I an ideal candidate for professional teeth whitening?
Many adult patients are eligible for teeth whitening. However, traditional whitening techniques can’t handle certain kinds of stains. We’ll do a complete consultation to determine the best option for you.
If your stains require more than traditional teeth whitening, we have other options, like porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding, to get you the whiter smile you desire.
Contact Our Dental Office
Schedule a dental consultation in our Bladenboro dental office if you want to learn more about whitening treatment. You can also call us at 910-469-4592. At Bladenboro Family Dentistry, we see patients from Clarkton, Bladenboro, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Please let our team know if you have any questions or concerns about teeth whitening options.