5 Things to Know Before Whitening Your Teeth

man smiling

If you’re thinking that your yellow or dull teeth need a change, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments at our dentist office in Birmingham. One of the best parts, teeth whitening is affordable and it’s a suitable treatment for most patients. Before you commit to a teeth whitening treatment, there are a few things you should know. Take a look at our list from Maniscalco, DMD in Birmingham for the 5 things you need to know before whitening your teeth.

1. Your Teeth Can Change Colors for a Number of Reasons

The first thing you should know before whitening your teeth is that your teeth can be discolored for a number of reasons. To start, your teeth can easily change their color from the foods and drinks you consume. Some of the top culprits are tea, coffee, and wine. Their intense color pigments attach onto your enamel and cause discoloration. Another major culprit for tooth staining and the color change is tobacco use. Whether you chew tobacco or you smoke it, the tar and nicotine stain the surface of your teeth yellow. For best results, we recommend that you quit smoking before you whiten your teeth so that the results stick.

Your teeth can also become discolored from your age. Below your enamel is where your dentin rests. Dentin is a yellow color. With age, it’s normal for your enamel to start wearing down, allowing your dentin’s color to shine through. Your teeth can also become discolored after trauma to your mouth. This can be due to an injury that exposes more of your dentin. Lastly, your teeth can become discolored due to the medications you are taking. Examples of medications with this side effect include antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, antipsychotics, doxycycline, tetracycline, chemotherapy, and neck radiation. Regardless of why your teeth have become discolored, we can help you brighten them up.

2. This is How Teeth Whitening Works

Now that you understand how your teeth became discolored in the first place, you might be wondering how a teeth whitening treatment can fix it. To start, you must choose either an at-home treatment or in-office treatment for whitening your smile. Both work similarly. The in-office treatment will only take an hour while the take-home kit will require you to use it for about two weeks at an hour a day. The in-office treatment works faster because we use an activating light in our office that expedites the bleaching process. As a result, you can have a whiter smile in just under an hour. The bleach penetrates your teeth to remove surface stains as well as deep stains in your teeth.

3. Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Work on All Teeth

One important factor that you need to know is that teeth whitening may not work on all of your teeth. This may apply if you have a tooth that is brown. Brown teeth typically do not respond well to whitening treatments and can actually make your teeth look grey instead. You should also know that teeth whitening treatments do not work on dental veneers, crowns, bridges, fillings, or dentures. This is because restorations are not porous materials like teeth. The bleaching solution will not affect their color at all. If you want to change your teeth color in addition to your restorations, you will need to replace your restorations to match your desired color.

4. There are a Lot of Different Whitening Options to Choose From

One of the perks of visiting Dr. Maniscalco for your teeth whitening treatment is that we have a lot of different teeth whitening treatments for you to choose from. To start, we offer Zoom! teeth whitening products. This product uses an activating light to brighten your teeth at a faster speed. We also offer Lumibrite whitening which also uses an activating light. The major difference for this kit is that this one has a smaller chance of giving you sensitive teeth following your treatment. Our next teeth whitening option is KöR Deep Bleaching. This solution is ideal for patients who have very deep staining in their teeth. Whether you would prefer to whiten your teeth in the convenience of our dental office or would prefer to do it at home on your own time, it’s up to you. Each of our different teeth whitening options serve a specific purpose. Our dentist will recommend the best one for your smile and ideal results.

5. Tooth Sensitivity May Be a Side Effect of Tooth Whitening

The last thing you need to know about whitening your teeth is that there is a possible side effect of tooth sensitivity. If you have ever used a teeth whitening treatment before and found that it made your teeth extra sensitive to hot or cold afterward, this is a sign that your teeth become sensitive because of the whitening treatment. Make sure to let our dentist know if this has happened to you in the past so that we can pick the right teeth whitening treatment to keep you feeling comfortable throughout the duration of your treatment. It’s also possible for those who have never experienced tooth sensitivity to develop a sensation of sensitivity following a teeth whitening treatment.

We try our best to choose only high-quality products to treat our patients. Tooth sensitivity can be unpleasant which is why we offer a range of whitening products to choose from for different reactions.

Schedule a Teeth Whitening Consultation Today

If you’re ready to brighten your smile and you feel a bit more confident about teeth whitening produces after reading through our blog, it’s time to schedule a consultation with our dentist today. Give us a call or fill out our online form to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.

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