Professional teeth whitening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance your smile. It is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments today. Dr. Emily Ann Reece offers teeth whitening in her Raleigh, NC dental office. She will meet with you to evaluate your needs and your dental health as well as discuss your cosmetic goals before recommending treatment.
If your tooth stains are resistant to teeth whitening products, we offer cosmetic treatments such as dental crowns, porcelain veneers, and tooth bonding. These treatments not only address discolored teeth but offer longer-lasting results. Learn about the causes of tooth discoloration as well as teeth whitening treatment at Reedy Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry below.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
Teeth naturally darken and yellow over time due to aging. This type of tooth discoloration is completely normal. Over time, the foods and beverages we consume stain and discolor teeth. In addition, as the tooth enamel wears down, the dark underlayer called dentin can show through.
However, people who consume dark-colored foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, and soda more frequently will experience tooth discoloration much faster. Poor oral hygiene also leads to yellow and stained teeth. If you do not brush and floss often, it will lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth.
Patients who smoke or use tobacco products are more prone to yellowed, brownish, and discolored stains on their teeth. Their smiles are typically dull and most people can point out a smoker by their smile.
However, there are other causes of tooth discoloration that are out of our control. Genetics play a huge role in our oral health including the appearance of our teeth. Trauma to the mouth and certain medications can also lead to stained teeth.
Teeth Whitening Treatment
Dr. Reece customizes your whitening treatment to meet your needs and goals. She will thoroughly examine your teeth prior to treatment to determine if whitening teeth will address your tooth staining and discoloration. In-office treatment consists of Dr. Reece applying whitening gel to the enamel and curing it with light.
About In-Office Teeth Whitening
The process typically involves several steps. The first thing Dr. Reece will do is clean your teeth to remove any plaque and tartar buildup. This will ensure that the whitening solution will penetrate the teeth evenly. The next step is to place a dental dam in your mouth or use protective gel to cover your gums to protect them. This will help cut down on any sensitivity and irritation.
Dr. Reece will apply a strong bleaching gel on the surface of your teeth. It will contain a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the main ingredient to whiten teeth. This is typically left on for 15-30 minutes where it will penetrate the enamel. Using a special light, she will activate the gel. This process may be repeated a few times to reach your desired level of whitening.
To maintain your smile following your treatment, avoid substances that are known to cause tooth discoloration. Beverages like sodas, tea, and coffee should be consumed through a straw to help avoid the liquids from staining your smile. Avoid smoking and tobacco products as they can yellow and discolor teeth as well.
Teeth Whitening FAQs
If you would like to learn more about professional teeth whitening, read through our frequently asked questions sections. Here, we address all the top questions patients have about this popular cosmetic dentistry treatment. If you still have specific questions about our tooth whitening treatments, please feel free to reach out to helpful dental staff.
Is the teeth whitening procedure safe?
Professional teeth whitening is completely safe for you and for your teeth. However, children who are under the age of 13 should avoid tooth whitening because their teeth are still forming. In addition, women who are pregnant or lactating should avoid tooth whitening procedures because the calcium in their teeth may be weakened by their pregnancy. Otherwise, professional teeth whitening treatment is a safe and effective way of erasing years of stains from your teeth.
Are store-bought teeth whitening kits effective?
Over-the-counter tooth whiteners may claim that they can whiten teeth quickly. However, whitening strips, toothpaste, and gels whiten the teeth very slowly. Store-bought whitening products cannot whiten teeth by multiple shades all at once. In addition to this, some of these products actually contain chemicals that can damage your teeth and gums. If you want effective teeth whitening treatment, contact Dr. Reece.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
No, teeth whitening should not hurt. With professional whitening, our office ensures that the soft tissues in your mouth are protected from the bleaching solution. If anything, you’ll feel some sensitivity for a few days after the whitening procedure. Though we use products that are designed to prevent sensitivity, some patients are more susceptible to it than others.
Should my teeth be cleaned before or after whitening?
Professional teeth whitening works best on freshly cleaned teeth. We recommend scheduling a dental cleaning and whitening in the same appointment at our office. If your teeth aren’t clean, whitening results are patchy because of the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth.
When can I eat and drink after teeth whitening treatment?
Wait for half an hour after your whitening treatment to eat or drink anything. Also, avoid eating or drinking anything that can stain your teeth for 48 hours. The two days following your whitening treatment are the most crucial for staining because the pores on your teeth remain open. If you drink beverages like coffee or tea, drink them through a straw to minimize the impact of their staining properties.
How long do the results of teeth whitening last?
Results last anywhere from six months to three years. There are many different factors that change how long results last for different patients. Genetically, some teeth are more responsive to whitening treatment than others. Your lifestyle habits play a factor as well. If you smoke or frequently drink coffee or tea, your whitening results won’t last as long as others.
How often can I get my teeth whitened?
Even with professional-grade products that minimize sensitivity, too many whitening treatments can cause issues. Only whiten your teeth once or twice a year. Whitening more often means more problems with sensitivity and the shade of your teeth looks unnatural.
Am I an ideal candidate for teeth whitening?
Most patients are eligible for teeth whitening treatment. However, some stains aren’t able to be taken care of with traditional whitening methods. In these cases, we offer solutions like dental bonding or porcelain veneers to get the white smile you’re looking for.
Book an Appointment for Teeth Whitening in Cary, NC
Do you want to whiten your teeth by multiple shades at once? Call Reedy Creek Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 919.646.6294 for professional whitening treatment. You may also request a consultation with Dr. Reece on our website. If you have any questions about your dental concerns or teeth whitening treatments, let us know. We will be happy to clarify information about our practice and services.