The Ultimate Guide to Teeth Whitening: Everything You Need to Know

June 1, 2023
Frequent consumption of coffee, red wine, and tea can negatively impact the appearance of your teeth. Various factors such as medication intake, smoking, and aging can also lead to dull and discolored teeth. Yellow teeth can be a concern for many people, but teeth whitening at Comfort Dentistry is a viable solution for those seeking to improve their tooth shade. This procedure is quick, affordable, and non-invasive, and it can help restore the brightness and radiance of your smile that may have been affected by years of staining and discoloration. In this blog post, we will provide answers to common questions about the teeth whitening process. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening in San Antonio, TX, is a cosmetic dental treatment that aims to bleach teeth to make them several shades lighter. While some people may achieve white teeth immediately, others may require multiple sessions to reach the desired brightness. The primary active ingredient in teeth whitening gel is carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which can only be used by registered dental professionals at high concentrations. The bleaching agent will penetrate the top layer of your teeth, called enamel, and soak into the second and softer layer beneath it, called dentin. The chemical will react with the colored molecules on your teeth that cause discoloration, resulting in brighter dentin and more reflective enamel, leading to a whiter smile. However, it's important to note that teeth whitening is only a temporary solution. Various teeth whitening products are available, including those sold in supermarkets and drugstores. However, their effectiveness may not match that of dental office products because they contain a lower concentration of hydrogen peroxide, typically only 7%, compared to the up to 45% used by dentists.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last? Are There Ways To Prolong The Results?

Regardless of the tooth whitening method employed, the effects are not permanent. Home-based products may provide results ranging from minimal to significant, but they typically last only a few months. Professional dental treatments can prolong the effects for 2-3 years.

Ways to Prolong the Results

To extend the results of your teeth whitening treatment and improve your confidence, quit tobacco products. Smoking causes yellow and brown stains on teeth, and stopping its use not only enhances the longevity of your treatment but also improves your oral and overall health. Avoid coffee, soda, and dark drinks to prevent staining. Drink water or use a straw. Brush and floss at least twice daily to maintain oral hygiene and prevent plaque buildup. Use whitening toothpaste occasionally. Get professional cleanings from a dentist near you twice a year to keep teeth and gums healthy and remove stains.

What Are the Common Myths About Teeth Whitening, And What Is the Truth Behind Them?

Our dentist in San Antonio, TX, compiled a list of the top six teeth whitening myths that need to be debunked. Teeth whitening can harm your enamel: This is not true, according to several studies. However, it is essential to note that a dental professional should only do teeth whitening procedures. Going to a beauty salon for teeth whitening can be risky and may harm your teeth. Teeth whitening treatments should not cause pain: If you experience discomfort, stop using that treatment. However, some sensitivity is common, and you can speak to your dentist about using special formulas or mouthwash to alleviate sensitivity. Teeth whitening treatments can look natural: The whitening process is gradual and can be controlled, such as wearing trays for more days to achieve a whiter smile. Additionally, the level of whitening depends on the starting shade of your teeth, and there is a limit to how white your teeth can become. Teeth whitening is not a permanent solution: Although teeth whitening can have long-lasting effects, it is not a forever thing. Habits like drinking coffee, tea, red wine, or smoking can cause staining over time. It is recommended to have a touch-up whitening treatment every few months to maintain your bright smile. Drinking these liquids through a straw can also help prevent staining. Active charcoal is not a scientifically proven teeth whitening method: While trying out every new teeth whitening technique you see on social media may be tempting, it's best to stick with scientifically proven methods. Studies show that there isn't enough evidence to support the effectiveness of charcoal. Stick with professional at-home whitening trays provided by your dental clinic, and use a daily mouthwash to keep your smile shining.
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