Teeth whitening is one of the most requested cosmetic dental procedures today. For the most effective teeth whitening in Sacramento, consult the dentists at Natomas Crossing Dental Care to discuss your unique situation. We offer traditional in-office professional whitening as well as the Zoom! method for quicker whitening.
Why do teeth need to be whitened?
Teeth whitening lightens and brightens teeth by removing stains and discoloration. The most common reasons that cause teeth to become stained include:
- Using tobacco
- Drinking dark-colored liquids such as coffee, tea, colas and red wine
- Poor oral hygiene
- Over-exposure to fluoride as a child
- The use of certain medications like tetracycline antibiotics
- Trauma caused by injury
What is professional teeth whitening?
Professional teeth whitening by your dentist is your best choice for immediate whitening results. This procedure is called chair-side bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit takes from 60 to 120 minutes. During chair-side bleaching, your dentist applies either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the soft oral tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.
What is the Zoom!® method?
Zoom! is a professional teeth whitening treatment that gets your teeth an average of eight shades lighter — in just a couple of hours. The treatment is safe, simple and relaxing.
To prepare for Zoom! whitening, your dentist examines your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy. After covering your lips and gums with an isolation material to protect them during the treatment, we apply the Zoom! whitening gel, which is activated by the Zoom! light source. The gel and light work together to gently break up the stains on your teeth.
Can I whiten my teeth at home?
Several types of products are available for use at home that can be dispensed by your dentist or purchased over the counter:
Teeth Whitening Trays
These products contain peroxide(s) that actually bleach the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide, the bleaching agent, comes in several different concentrations. Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouth guard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used twice a day for two weeks, while others are intended for overnight use for one to two weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your dentist’s office, you will also receive custom-fitted trays that fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only the dentist-dispensed, home use, 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied system carries the ADA Seal.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. You apply the bleaching agent by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing them into place to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment varies.
Paint-on Teeth Whitening
This type of whitening allows you to apply a bleaching agent directly to your teeth without an appliance or strip. You simply “paint” the whitener onto the surface of clean, dry teeth and wait about 30 minutes while the paint turns to a dry film. You remove the film by brushing your teeth. Paint-on whitening products require twice-daily applications to be effective. The duration of treatment varies. An advantage to this process is that you can selectively paint individual teeth.
All toothpastes have mild abrasives that help remove surface stains from your teeth. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance Program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Teeth whitening can have minor side effects and you should speak with your dentist if these become bothersome. For example, teeth may become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation, either from a tray that doesn’t fit properly or from solution that comes in contact with the tissues. If you have concerns about side effects, please discuss them with your dentist.
For more information on teeth whitening or to book an appointment, contact Natomas Crossing Dental today!