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Teeth whitening is an easy way to make your smile that much more attractive. It makes you look fresher, brighter, and it just boosts your self-confidence! It's no wonder that it's gotten more popular over the last few years.

Over the last decade or so, the popularity of teeth whitening has surged. It's one of the most popular—if not the most popular—cosmetic dental procedure requested today since it can make such a big difference in your overall appearance. This cosmetic procedure used to be saved for the most special occasions—school graduation and weddings, for example—but now, people are flocking to have their teeth whitened just to boost their confidence in their everyday appearance.

Though teeth-whitening is safe and quite common these days, there are still some things that you may need to know before making the decision to whiten your teeth.

What causes teeth discoloration?

There are two kinds of teeth discoloration:

1. Extrinsic discoloration

This is what happens when the outside of your teeth are stained by food, beverages, or smoking cigarettes. This kind of discoloration can be treated topically, such as with whitening toothpaste, which works on the surface of the teeth.

2. Intrinsic discoloration

This kind of discoloration happens from within the tooth. This can be attributed to anything, whether from infection, aging, or medication use. This needs professional treatment to remedy—bleaching procedures, in particular.

What are the different whitening treatments available?

Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste can target surface stains on your teeth by using mild abrasives. This kind of treatment takes time and will only be effective if the source of the discoloration (ex: constant coffee consumption) is eliminated.

Gels and strips

Both products are peroxide-based and are applied on top of the teeth using either a small brush or a clear strip. How long you keep it on your teeth depends on the strength of the peroxide in the kit. You'll start to see results in as little to four days and can last for up to four months.

Bleaching

Professional dentists offer the most effective form of teeth whitening: bleaching.

Dentists use a gel similar to the teeth whitening products you get over the counter, but at a much stronger concentration (somewhere between 15 – 43% hydrogen peroxide). This is done in a controlled environment with the appropriate tools to ensure that the rest of your mouth is not affected by the bleach.

What can I expect after the treatment?

You may experience some initial discomfort that goes away on its own after several days. These include:

  • sensitivity
  • stinging or discolored gums
  • general discomfort

What are the risks?

There are instances where people can get carried away with the whitening treatment as they return for consecutive sessions. This causes overbleaching, which wears away the enamel and leaves the inner tissues vulnerable to injury or disease. Permanent protection in the form of veneers or crowns may become a necessity if the enamel continues to disintegrate.

The Final Verdict: Are Teeth Whitening Procedures for You?

With the different treatments available, teeth whitening can certainly be for anybody. However, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a dentist who can determine what kind of treatment is best for you. The most suitable treatment will allow you to have the brightest, most confident smile.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Ann Arbor that can provide teeth whitening services, then our friendly staff here at Dental House: Home of Dentistry can meet your needs! We go the extra mile to provide you with a personable and welcoming environment that can keep you calm and happy while we work on getting your teeth to perfect shape! Get in touch with us and make an appointment today.

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Watch this video to learn how Dental House provides a safe environment for patients and staff during treatment. We also offer important information on how to keep yourself and others safe in the dental office.

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