Smile Brighter with Teeth Whitening from Peters Dental Associates
Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment to restore the natural color of your teeth. This procedure doesn’t cover up discoloration, but removes the stains that have built up over time. There are several ways to whiten teeth. At our office in Houston, TX, we offer a home-whitening program that delivers excellent results, brightening your teeth several shades. Peters Dental Associates is ready to help you have a whiter smile.
Why do I need teeth whitening?
Tooth discoloration can come from several factors, most commonly staining. Several factors can lead to the yellow tint of your teeth, some of which you may not be able to control. Most stains are on the enamel, the outer protective covering on the teeth. Some, especially the result of medications, can be on the dentin (the bulk of the tooth beneath the enamel) and are harder to address.
These factors can impact the whiteness of your teeth:
- What you eat — Foods such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have natural pigments in them that stain the teeth.
- What you drink — Coffee, tea, red wine, some juices, and colas also stain your teeth.
- Smoking — Nicotine leaves yellow stains on the teeth.
- Drugs — Tetracycline is the main culprit in stained dentin. This antibiotic used heavily in the 60s and 70s left the teeth of many children who had taken it stained. Sometimes this staining is so deep and pervasive that the only way to address it is with bonding or porcelain veneers.
- Fluorosis — If a child has too much fluoride, it leads to fluorosis, which stains the teeth.
- Your genes — Each of us has a different shade of the enamel on our teeth. Some are more yellow than others.
How does your whitening program work?
Enamel, the protective layer on the outside of our teeth, is somewhat porous. Hydrogen peroxide can penetrate the tooth enamel, breaking down stains as it does. Peroxide can penetrate the dentin to a degree, but results there are harder to attain. Teeth whitening will only work on natural enamel. After treatment, you will likely need to replace any fillings and crowns you have.
What is involved in teeth whitening at Peters Dental Associates?
Our teeth whitening program requires two visits to our Houston, TX office.
- We use a shade template to identify the extent of whitening you need. This test also serves as a before and after benchmark.
- We take impressions of your teeth so that we can have custom bleaching trays created just for you.
- You will try on the trays for proper fit, and we will make any necessary adjustments.
- We will provide detailed instructions about using the trays.
The trays are worn with special whitening solution. Depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening, you will can wear the trays either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.
Before you place the trays in your mouth, you’ll need to brush and floss your teeth. You can not eat, drink or smoke while the trays are in your mouth, or for 30 minutes after removing them. You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
I love Dr. Peters, he is such a wonderful and caring dentist, he and his entire staff go out of their way to make your visit special.
– Kathleen D.
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How can I maintain my brighter teeth?
Teeth whitening is not permanent. As you consume beverages and foods that stain your teeth, eventually you will want to return to Peters Dental Associates and purchase another round of our professional whitening gel. However, there are some steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile.
If you smoke, the best way to maintain your results is to stop smoking. The nicotine, tar, and other chemical additives in tobacco smoke instantly stain your teeth. Quitting will not only help your smile, but the rest of your body as well.
Attentive home hygiene will also play a significant role in how white your teeth stay. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day are important, as are your twice-yearly professional cleanings with the Peters Dental Associates team.
Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. You can replace your restorations after bleaching at Peters Dental Associates so they will match the newly bleached teeth.