Time to Brighten and Whiten your smile

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, when people are asked what would improve their smile, most answered it would be whiter teeth.

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Burlington dentist Dr. Sarita Malhotra address the teeth whitening options

These are some of the survey results from people request whitening.

Percent of orthodontists who had patients request tooth whitening  88.8 %

Percent who say they are “concerned by the look of their teeth” 32 %
Percent who say they usually conceal their teeth in photos 18 %
Percent of adults who believe an attractive smile makes you more appealing to the opposite sex  96 %
Percent of adults who believe an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success  74 %

Before you choose teeth whitening or pick a whitening product or make a whitening appointment it is useful to understand the most commonly asked questions about the topic.

Lot of people ask why did their teeth change color?

There are a lot of reasons for teeth changing color.

  •  Drinking coffee and tea can cause teeth to stain over time. Intense color pigments in these drinks called chromogens bind to the white, outer part of your tooth’s enamel to stain it.
  • For people who use tobacco, it has two products, tar and nicotine. These two products will stain your teeth with a yellowish, surface staining substance.
  • As we age, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.
  • Trauma to the tooth can change its color. If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.
  • If you are on certain medications, it can change the tooth color. Tooth darkening can be a side effect of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications. Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming may have discoloration of their adult teeth. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also darken teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening make my teeth whiter?

Teeth whitening and whitening products uses two kind of tooth bleaches – hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, these bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?
No, which is why it’s important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

Talk to your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are three ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Whitening Toothpastes
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth.  Look for the ADA Seal for safe whitening toothpastes that have special chemical or polishing agents to provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these types of ADA Accepted products do not change the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching
This procedure is called chairside bleaching and usually requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth. A special light or laser might be used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-Home Bleaching
Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.

Are There Any Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Overuse of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and talk to your dentist.

If you are interested in your tooth whitening options , make an appointment to see Burlington dentist Dr. Sarita Malhotra.

Dr. Sarita Malhotra a Burlington dentist at Modern Smiles Dental Care treats both children and adults. She takes pride in promoting holistic dental care, dental self-care strategies and practices that get to the core of the problems in our mouths–preventing issues from taking root and gently restoring dental health. Dr. Sarita Malhotra has a patient-friendly philosophy, which focuses on aesthetics, affordability and a commitment to total oral health. By incorporating advanced technology with meticulous compassion, and pain-free dentistry Dr. Sarita Malhotra offers patients the smiles they dreamed about because she loves to see you smile. Please call our office at 781-505-1900 to schedule an appointment.