What is Teeth Whitening and How Can My Dentist Help?
Having stained, discolored teeth can be a challenge, especially when it comes to your confidence in your smile. Brushing your teeth can help you to remove surface-level stains, but stains that exist deeper within the tooth will need a heftier teeth whitening treatment. Although there are many different over-the-counter options for teeth whitening, consulting with your dentist is always a good first step so that you know which products and professional treatments will work effectively and safely for you.
Tooth discoloration is a perfectly normal part of life. There are generally two types of teeth stains – the first are extrinsic, or external, and exist on the surface of the enamel. The second type is intrinsic, or internal, and these exist within the dentin and deeper layers of the tooth. Although avoiding stain-causing factors can be an effective way to stop stains from forming in the first place, you may need some professional help if your stains are deep-set or don’t respond to over-the-counter tooth whitening treatments.
Causes of Teeth Stains
Food and Drink
Drinks like coffee, red wine, and dark soda are famous for causing teeth stains. However, there are plenty of other foods and drinks that can stain your teeth over time. It can be hard to avoid these sometimes, so making sure to rinse your mouth and brush regularly can help reduce stains from food and beverages.
Tobacco, both smoking and chewing tobacco, can cause substantial yellowing of the teeth with regular use. This is usually the result of a combination of tar and nicotine, and it can make your teeth yellow in a very short period of time. There are many reasons to quit smoking and avoid tobacco, and having whiter teeth is one of them.
Poor Oral Care Habits
Without regular brushing or flossing, it’s much easier for stains to set in and cause long-term discoloration. Regular brushing can not only prevent decay by removing harmful foods and bacteria from your teeth, but it can also prevent them from causing stains over time.
Trauma or Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions can cause tooth discoloration by affecting the proper development of your enamel when you’re young. Additionally, trauma or injury to your teeth can result in discoloration. This means that even the best at-home whitening solution and lifestyle changes won’t achieve the results you want. In these cases, veneers and internal bleaching are necessary to mask stains.
Simply put, your teeth can become discolored as a result of the natural aging process. This is usually compounded by existing stains and the process of enamel breakdown as you age. There is also a process of reparative dentin deposition which causes the nerve space to shrink, creating an illusion of grayer tooth shade.
Teeth Whitening FAQ’s
Can laser whitening damage your teeth?
Laser teeth whitening is safe and will not damage teeth if properly used and not done in excess.
Does whitening remove stains?
Whitening removes stains from the inner and outer layers of teeth.
How can I get rid of yellow teeth?
A professional whitening procedure is excellent at removing yellow stains from teeth.
Can whitening strips crack your teeth?
Whitening strips can not crack teeth.
Can yellow teeth become white?
Yellow stains are removed well with whitening. Teeth will appear whiter after professional whitening.
How can I keep my teeth white and healthy?
Maintaining good oral hygiene and staying away from pigmented foods, smoking and alcohol will keep teeth white.
Do whitening strips work?
Whitening strips have a low level of bleaching agent as compared to professional strength formulations. They work but on a milder scale.
How can I Unstain my teeth?
You can have your teeth professionally whitened at your dentists office or try over-the-counter whitening products from your drug store.
How do whitening trays work?
Custom molds are taken of your teeth and a lab fabricates trays that can hold bleaching agent.
How do you protect your gums when whitening your teeth?
Custom trays lie just below the gum line so bleach never touches delicate gum tissue. In office whitening also uses a barrier to isolate gum tissue so no bleach harms the tissue.
How can I whiten my teeth overnight?
You can speak to your dentist about light assisted whitening which lightens up to eight shades in one visit.
How can I whiten my teeth quickly?
Light assisted professional whitening can get teeth up to eight shades lighter in 45 minutes. That is the quickest way to get the best results.
How do dentist whiten teeth?
Dentists can either use light assisted whitening methods or fabricate whitening trays. For very white shades often people get veneers.
How do you whiten stubborn yellow teeth?
Many professional whitening systems are excellent at removing yellow stains from foods, beverages and nicotine.
How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth?
It can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes in one appointment with professional strength products to several days with over the counter brands.
How do I keep my teeth white after whitening?
Good hygiene practices go a long way as well as avoiding pigmented foods, alcohol and smoking/vaping.
Is teeth whitening bad for your teeth?
If used properly, whitening is not bad for your teeth and very safe. Newer formulations have little to no issues with sensitivity.
Is teeth whitening painful?
Whitening should not be painful if done correctly. In rare cases some post-whitening sensitivity may occur and dissipates within a day or less.
How long does it take teeth to rehydrate after whitening?
It takes 24-48 hours for teeth to rehydrate after bleaching treatments.
How long does it take to turn yellow teeth white?
Treatment times vary depending on how deep into the tooth structure the stain is located. On average 45-60 minutes with professional strength products.
How long does it take to whiten teeth?
Whitening times vary depending on how deep into the tooth structure the stain is located. On average 45-60 minutes with professional strength products.
How much does it cost to get your teeth professionally whitened?
The prices vary depending on the type of treatment material. The range is $400 to $800.
Is there a difference between teeth whitening and teeth bleaching?
Teeth whitening and teeth bleaching are synonymous terms.
What is the best over the counter teeth whitening product?
There are a variety of over the counter products. The best is to look for a product with peroxide that also caries the ADA seal.
What is the best whitener for your teeth?
There are many different professional whitening products. The best tend to be the in office light assisted treatments such as Zoom.
What teeth whitening do dentists use?
Our office and I use Zoom in-office 45 minute bleaching product. It gets you up to eight shades lighter in 45 minutes with little to no sensitivity.
What to expect after teeth whitening?
You can expect your teeth to be slightly dehydrated and mildly sensitive for the next 24-48 hours. You should avoid colored foods and drinks during this time to maintain your pearly whites.
Is teeth whitening at dentist worth it?
It is the most effective way to get your teeth their whitest.
The Zoom Bleaching Process and What to Expect
Dr. Chern will take a look at your teeth and assess what kind of whitening process will be best for you. She’ll also take pictures so that you can track your progress as your treatment unfolds. This is the best time to discuss your smile goals with Dr. Chern who can recommend your best options for cosmetic dentistry. We offer Zoom in-office teeth whitening as well as custom take-home trays to help you get your ideal results. Both are pain-free options to whiten and brighten your teeth safely with little to no issues with sensitivity.
Teeth whitening works best on clean teeth. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Inna Chern will perform a cleaning of the enamel that ensures you get the best results. Then, she’ll gently pumice your teeth to remove surface stains and apply a vitamin E balm to protect your lips during the whitening process. Your mouth will be isolated with retractors and a liquid dam to protect your lips and gums from the peroxide.
A hydrogen peroxide-based Zoom Gel is carefully applied to the patient’s teeth. This gel can work on stains deep in the tooth’s structure without affecting its health with the help of a specialized, light-based Zoom machine aimed at the teeth. The whitening process takes about 15 minutes, and you can relax, listen to music, or watch your favorite show during this time.
You’ll receive about 3-4 applications of Zoom Gel depending on the level of whitening you’d like to achieve. Between applications, Dr. Chern will examine your teeth and make sure the treatment is working as planned, as well as track your progress and any issues with sensitivity.
Caring for Your Teeth After Whitening
Dr. Chern will give you detailed instructions on how to maintain your Zoom whitening results. The first 24-48 hours are the key to the success of Zoom whitening. General rules are:
- Eating a healthy diet (avoiding sugary drinks and drinks that can stain your teeth)
- Avoiding pigmented foods and beverages
- Brushing your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a soft or electric toothbrush
- Floss every day or use a water flosser (Waterpik)
Additionally, you can use our professional at-home treatment systems to touch up your results as needed – and to manage any stains that may form in the future to prevent them from becoming more permanent. Zoom whitening results last 9 months to 2 years depending on lifestyle choices. We recommend Zoom treatments yearly as part of your oral wellness maintenance routine.
Laser Teeth Whitening FAQ’s
Does Zoom whitening last?
Zoom whitening lasts from 6 months to 2 years.
Does laser teeth whitening work on crowns?
No form of whitening works on dental work including crowns.
Does Zoom whitening work?
Zoom whitening is a great product that can whiten your teeth up to eight shades lighter.
Can you get yellow teeth back to white?
Yellow stains are removed well with whitening. Teeth will appear whiter after professional whitening.
Does laser whitening hurt?
Laser whitening should not be painful if done correctly. In rare cases some post-whitening sensitivity may occur and dissipates within a day or less.
Does Zoom whitening hurt?
Zoom whitening should not be painful if done correctly. In rare cases some post-whitening sensitivity may occur and dissipates within a day or less.
How long does laser whitening of teeth last?
Depending on your maintenance, laser whitening can last 6 months to 2 years.
How much is professional teeth whitening?
Prices can range from $400 to $800 dollars.
What can I eat after Zoom whitening?
Its important for the first 24-48 hours to avoid anything that would stain your white shirt. Think coffee, red sauce and alcohol.
How often can you do laser teeth whitening?
Depending on the brand laser whitening can be done 1-2 times a year.
What is the best laser teeth whitening system?
Zoom whitening is the best teeth whitening system for quick and painless results.
How often can you use zoom whitening?
Zoom can be used 1-2 times a year.
Is laser teeth whitening better than gel?
Laser whitening is a faster way of getting similar results of 1-2 weeks of gel therapy.
Is laser whitening safe for your teeth?
If used properly and not excessively, laser whitening is very safe for teeth.
What Makes Our Office the Right Fit for Your Teeth Bleaching Treatment?
We take a customized approach to your teeth whitening goals so that you get the glowing smile you’re hoping for. We’ll also work with your lifestyle to make sure you get long-term results for teeth whitening that lasts.
There’s never any judgment at our Midtown East teeth whitening office. We make it a point to ensure every experience with us is comfortable and stress-free.
Through high-tech, modern treatments and techniques, we’re proud to offer you safe and effective teeth whitening services that really work.