No matter how perfectly straight, sized, and shaped your teeth are, your smile can still be imperfect due to discoloration. Even minor surface stains can greatly impact the overall quality of your smile. At Summit Dental Care, we can help to eliminate stains from your teeth a cosmetic dentistry procedure.
Teeth Whitening Methods
Extrinsic Vs. Intrinsic Stains
When most people think about stains on their teeth, they typically think of extrinsic ones. These are the stains that occur on the outside of your teeth. Common causes of extrinsic stains include dark beverages such as coffee or red wine, foods like dark berries, curry, pasta sauce, and tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Intrinsic tooth stains occur inside of the teeth. They are caused by tetracycline antibiotics, dental trauma that damages the pulp, genetics, or fluorosis. Sometimes the small cracks or fractures can allow the same causes of stains on the exterior of your teeth to stain the interior.
Natural Teeth Whitening
For those who want to whiten their teeth naturally, there are a few methods that you can try. Some methods include swishing with coconut oil, brushing with baking soda, and swishing with diluted apple cider vinegar. Some recommend a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Crunchy fruits and vegetables can help to scrub your teeth, which can help to remove surface stains. Two fruits that are claimed to whiten teeth include strawberries and pineapple.
Over The Counter Whitening
There are all kinds of over-the-counter teeth whiteners. There is whitening toothpaste, which contains abrasives that scrub your teeth. They also contain Carbamide or Hydrogen Peroxide. There are whitening strips, which contain a coating of a Hydrogen Peroxide gel. You can find whitening rinses and whitening tray systems too.
Over-the-counter whitening can help with minor surface stains. For more significant stains, professional whitening may be your best option. There are two ways your teeth can be professionally whitened. One way is with a whitening treatment in the office. It takes only one appointment, and results are immediate. In-office whitening can improve the color of your teeth several shades. The other method for whitening your teeth professionally is with custom whitening trays. Trays are made from impressions of your mouth. You apply the gel and wear the trays for several hours each day. The trays take a little longer to see results, typically about a week, but those results are much more drastic than what you can achieve with over the counter products.
Other Ways To Whiten Teeth
While whitening can improve teeth affected by many types of stains, it cannot work for all stains. That does not mean that you have to live with discolored teeth forever. There are other ways to improve the color of your teeth. These methods include dental bonding and veneers. A consultation will allow us to determine if whitening is the best solution or if another method for improving the whiteness of your teeth should be considered. Dental cleaning and dental exams are still necessary after getting your teeth whitened.
Eliminating stains from your teeth can help to improve your smile, as well as your overall confidence. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 733-9999 today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes! As long as you visit a qualified cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening, the procedure is completely safe. Over-the-counter whitening gels are often unreliable and inconsistent, but whitening products provided through your dentist can be trusted.
If you visit our practice for an in-office treatment, we’ll ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure. If you choose our take-home teeth whitening option, just make sure to follow all the instructions and ask our team if you’re unsure about anything.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
We understand that some patients have sensitive teeth and are concerned that the bleaching gel will hurt. Rest assured, this isn’t the case, as most patients report no discomfort at all during treatment. Before applying the bleaching gel, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and ensure you don’t feel any pain.
Will insurance pay for my teeth whitening procedure?
Since teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, most insurance plans won’t cover it. However, you may be able to get a portion of your treatment cost covered depending on the terms of your plan. The amount of payment can vary depending on your provider. If you have any questions about your insurance benefits, our team will be happy to assist you.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening isn’t a permanent procedure. After a teeth whitening treatment, how long the results last can vary significantly. Some patients will have new stains in just 6 months, while others may be able to last for 2 or 3 years before they need another whitening session.
To help maximize your results, our cosmetic dentists recommend the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit us for biannual checkups
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Limit your consumption of teeth-staining foods and beverages