Do you have yellowed or darkened tooth enamel? Are there deep stains on some of your teeth? Tooth discoloration is often caused by a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, tobacco products, foods, beverages, medications, and health conditions. These factors change the color of the teeth and can create a yellow tint to the enamel. Horizon Family Dental Care offers teeth whitening as a cosmetic dental treatment at our dental offices in Hanover, La Plata, Clinton, and Baltimore, MD. Whitening teeth professionally can help improve patients’ confidence and motivate patients to maintain their oral health and whitening results with regular oral hygiene.
Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Tooth Stains
Tooth stains are categorized as intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic stains are stains that occur on the inside of the tooth. The dark underlayer beneath the tooth enamel, called dentin, can show through when teeth are worn down. This makes teeth appear darker and discolored. Extrinsic stains are caused by outside factors like certain foods and beverages or tobacco use. They affect the outer tooth enamel.
Oftentimes, intrinsic stains cannot be treated with professional whitening and may require veneers or dental bonding. These treatments cover the tooth enamel with porcelain ceramic or a biocompatible material that brightens the shade of teeth. For patients with extensive tooth damage and discoloration, we recommend dental crowns. Crowns act as caps that fully cover teeth.
Store-Bought vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
Many kinds of whitening toothpaste, gels, and strips found in stores can’t offer the results of professional teeth whitening. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are also not customized to each patient. Some patients with sensitive teeth can react adversely to these treatments. Alternatively, teeth whitening treatments overseen by dental professionals help minimize sensitivity and provide immediate results. Patients with sensitive teeth can try take-home whitening for gradual treatment.
Take-Home and In-Office Whitening
We offer professional take-home and in-office teeth whitening treatments. Patients can visit one of our dental offices for quick whitening treatment. For in-office whitening, we first ensure that the teeth are clean. Then, we create a barrier between the gums and the teeth to minimize gum irritation and sensitivity. We apply the whitening gel to the teeth, let them absorb in the enamel, and then remove it. Then, we reapply the gel several times until the teeth are the desired shade.
For our custom take-home teeth whitening treatments, we require our patients to come in for dental impressions. These impressions are taken to create the whitening trays. After the customized trays are ready, patients will return to our office to receive the custom trays as well as a whitening gel. At home, patients apply the whitening gel evenly to their trays and wear the trays for a specified amount of time. Our dentists instruct each patient on how long they should wear their trays.
The best way to maintain the results of your whitening treatment is to schedule biannual visits in our office and keep brushing and flossing.
Schedule a Dental Appointment Today
Do you want a brighter smile? Try teeth whitening treatment today. Request a dental consultation with our dentists on our website.