At the beginning of a new year, we often spend time thinking about the aspirations we wish to accomplish throughout the coming year. From losing weight to being better drivers, New Year’s resolutions can help us live our best and healthiest lives, and one resolution you McAllen area cosmetic dentist can help you with is achieving a whiter, brighter smile.
Teeth whitening is a great way to increase your confidence and boost your mood. With new techniques and treatments coming out all the time, teeth whitening is now more affordable than ever with the help of your cosmetic dentist in-office or at home, depending on your preference and needs.
Finding an over-the-counter whitener can take a lot of trial and error, and each try means spending more money. Consulting with your McAllen area cosmetic dentist at Heroes Dental, however, can help you find a treatment that’s right for you on the first try, ringing in 2020 in style with bright pearly whites.
What Causes Teeth Staining?
When considering teeth whitening options with your dentist, it is important to consider why and how your teeth are stained. Different sorts of stains respond to different treatments, and some stains don’t respond to whitening treatments at all. The two main types of teeth stains are intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic stains are stains within the structure of your teeth. For this type of stain, teeth whitening may not be your best option. It’s important to discuss your options with your dentist, as teeth veneers may be helpful for treating this type of stain.
So what causes intrinsic stains? One common cause of intrinsic stains is medications. Some medications can cause side effects that yellow your teeth. Ask your doctor if the medications you take could lead to this sort of stain.
Another cause of intrinsic stain is called fluorosis. Fluorosis is caused by an excess amount of supplemental fluoride which can be found in some well water. Fluorosis can lead to white streaks on the enamel of your teeth.
Extrinsic stains, on the other hand, are what we normally think of when we think of teeth whitening. Extrinsic stains include left behind yellow color and discoloration. The most common cause of these types of stains is diet. Drinking coffee, tea, wine, or dark sodas can lead to these types of stains, as can using tobacco or eating highly pigmented foods like pomegranates. Highly acidic foods and drinks can also wear away enamel, which makes teeth more susceptible to staining.
Discoloration of your teeth can also be caused simply by aging or genetics. Genetics can determine the color of your teeth, making you more likely to have yellowing teeth. Also, as we age, our enamel naturally wears away. Worn enamel can cause more stains and can also reveal the dentin underneath, which is naturally a yellow color.
What Are My Whitening Options?
The first step of figuring out what whitening option is right for you involves your dentist. He or she will help you establish what sort of staining is on your teeth, as well as the state of your enamel. It is an important step as your cosmetic dentist can search for scratches in your enamel. This complication can cause streaks during the whitening process.
Deciding between in-office or at-home treatments is also an important step in the process that your dentist can help you with. At-home treatment is good for those with extremely sensitive teeth, thin enamel, or not enough time for an in-office treatment. In-office treatments can be quicker and more efficient.
Listed below are a few more details that the two can bring depending on your circumstances:
- ◘ In-Office Treatment – In-office treatments generally last one appointment and take about 2 hours to complete. First, your dentist will apply shields to your gums and lips to protect them from the whitening agent.
After the shields are in place, your dentist will apply the bleaching agent. To speed up the process, your teeth will be placed under UV lights and the bleach will be left for around 15 minutes. After the appropriate amount of time, the treatment will be rinsed and reapplied as many times as needed to reach the desired color you and your dentist are looking for.
Once the effect you’re looking for is achieved, the treatment will be completely rinsed and the shields removed. The whole process should be painless; although, the shields can be a little uncomfortable.
- ◘ At-Home Treatment – At-home treatment generally takes longer and places more responsibility on you. This process requires a preliminary visit to our dentist’s office here at Heroes Dental to pick up a teeth whitening kit.
When you’re ready to begin your teeth whitening, first, brush your teeth to make sure all food is removed. Fill your teeth tray with the bleaching agent and position it on your teeth as instructed by your dentist. The tray will need to stay on your teeth for around 30 minutes. Generally, at-home treatments are applied every day for around two weeks.
Paying for teeth whitening
Having discolored teeth can be hard on a person’s self-esteem, but your McAllen area cosmetic dentist at Heroes Dental can help you find a whitening treatment that will leave you smiling all year long in 2020.
The cost of teeth whitening can vary widely from person to person depending on their particular needs and stains. Your location, the state of your teeth, and your preferences can all affect the cost of the treatment. Consulting with our cosmetic dentist will provide you with the information you need to decide what’s right for you as well as the payment options available.