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3 Things You Need to Know About Professional Teeth Whitening

White Teeth
Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are key tasks if you want a healthy smile. However, slight discoloration, yellowing, and stains may still build up on your teeth even when taking the necessary precautions.

Recent studies have proven that an appealing smile benefits your physical appearance as well as your self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, you can whiten and brighten your smile with a professional whitening treatment offered by your dentist. Before the treatment, there are a few things you should know. This guide and your dentist's help will educate you on the professional whitening treatments.


Intrinsic Stains Are Different Than Extrinsic Stains

One thing many patients are surprised to learn is that there are different levels of whitening treatment. You may require a completely different whitening than another person, so learning the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic stains will be necessary.
A large portion of patients have intrinsic stains, which refers to a deeper discoloration and staining that affects the inner portion of the tooth, known as the dentin.

Deeper staining is commonly associated with excess exposure to fluoride or trauma to the tooth.
To remove these stains, your dentist will use whitening gel or bleach on your teeth, allowing the substance to be absorbed. This absorption whitens the dentin, removing stains from the inside out.

Extrinsic stains affect the enamel, or the outer layer of the teeth. In most cases, this staining stems from using tobacco products, drinking soda, tea, coffee, and wine, and having improper oral hygiene habits.
Whitening treatments can easily remove these surface stains while brightening the overall white color of your newly cleaned teeth.

Tooth Sensitivity Is Common

Remember that you may experience some tooth sensitivity and gum irritation after the whitening treatment. As a matter of fact, an estimated 1/2 to3/4 of all patients experience slight sensitivity after whitening treatments.
For most, this discomfort lasts a day or so after the treatment. You may experience some pain while brushing your teeth and gums. However, some patients experience sensitivity when their teeth are exposed to air or hot and cold foods and beverages.

The higher the peroxide, the higher risk of tooth sensitivity because the peroxide and other bleaching products can erode your tooth enamel. If you already experience tooth sensitivity, make sure to notify your dentist before the whitening treatment. They may recommend whitening with a product that contains a lower concentration of bleaching agents.

It Doesn't Last Forever

One common misconception patients have is that a whitening treatment offers permanent results. Unfortunately, this myth needs to be addressed so you can learn the best techniques to protect your smile from discoloration and severe stains in the future.

The first 24 hours after a whitening treatment are crucial because your teeth are prone to stains during this time. For the first 24 hours after the treatment, you should avoid stain-causing beverages, such as wine, tea, soda, fruit juice, and coffee. If going without these drinks seems impossible, drink in moderation using a straw. This will reduce the contact these drinks have with the surface of your teeth.
Also, do not eat any foods that could stain a white t-shirt, such as most sauces, red meat, chocolate, and most fruits.

Do not smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco for a day or so after the whitening treatment. Moderate use of e-cigarettes or vapor pens is acceptable. Continue brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Also, flossing once a day is recommended for removing food residue lingering in between your teeth. Even though your teeth may be white, schedule routine checkups with your dentist to reduce the risk of plaque and tartar buildup that affect the look and underlying health of your teeth. A white and bright smile offers many benefits. To learn more about whitening treatments or other ways to improve your smile, contact University Dental P.A.
University Dental P.A.
3126 Devine St.
Columbia, SC 29205
Phone: 803-252-8101
Fax: 803-779-7721

Business Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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