We’d all like to have a bright, perfect, gleaming smile but you may not be ready to have a smile makeover with Dr. Strober or Dr. Butkofski just yet. Maybe all you need at this point is our in-office professional teeth whitening treatment at Gentle Dental.
Since we’re coming up on the party season (and we can actually have parties this year!), this is a great time to come see us in our Oak Tree Road offices and take an hour for teeth whitening. We can brighten your smile up to eight shades!
Here are some questions we frequently hear about teeth whitening at Gentle Dental.
Why are my teeth stained?
Like our fingerprints, our tooth enamel is unique to the person. The color varies slightly, as does the porosity of the enamel. Fortunately, most staining occurs in the enamel and responds well to teeth whitening using peroxide-based gels.
There is another type of staining that occurs in the dentin, the inner portion of the tooth. This staining usually is the result of a drug reaction — tetracycline is the main culprit here — and it cannot be whitened. The way to cover this type of staining is to have us cover the stained teeth with porcelain veneers.
These are the culprits behind your stained teeth:
- Foods — Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, even dark chocolate all contain pigments that can make their way into tooth enamel.
- Drinks — Coffee, tea, red wine, darker fruit juices, and cola drinks leave stains.
- Smoking — Nicotine makes the enamel yellow.
- Genes — Darker enamel tones are usually genetic.
- Drugs — Tetracycline was a popular antibiotic in the 60s, but it was found to make the dentin in teeth grey. There are now recommendations to not use tetracycline with children due to this problem.
- Fluorosis — If a person has too much fluoride, or if it is ingested, it can cause fluorosis, which stains the teeth a grey color. This is very rare, despite the hooey you have maybe read on the internet!
How does teeth whitening work?
When you drink a glass of red wine, bits of the red pigment penetrate the enamel and remain. The peroxide in our professional whitening gel also penetrates the enamel and breaks down the pigment in those stains. The process is similar to how laundry detergent removes stains on clothing.
Will teeth whitening make my teeth sensitive?
Because the whitening agents penetrate the enamel, whitening can make your teeth sensitive for a few hours, but this passes quickly.
How long does in-office teeth whitening take?
Our in-office whitening treatments at Gentle Dental take about one hour. First, our hygienists place a protective barrier over your gums. Next, they paint our professional-strength hydrogen peroxide whitening gel onto each tooth. The gel is activated with a special light. We then remove the gel and repeat the process one or two more times, depending on the depth of staining on your teeth.