Teeth whitening is the process of removing stains from the teeth. Three standard methods of teeth whitening are teeth polishing, teeth bleaching, and microabrasion, all of which brighten the appearance of your smile.
Tooth polishing is the best option for those with slight surface staining and those seeking a natural look rather than a bright white smile, and those looking for a cost-effective way to brighten their smile.
The result is achieved by using a combination of a slow-speed hand piece and a special stain removing polish.
The bleaching process uses a strong oxidizing agent to lighten the teeth such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
It can be done in the dental office with a more concentrated solution with a special bleaching light or laser, or at home using a customized tray with a less concentrated bleaching gel.
Microabrasion is the process of rubbing a special concentrated stain removing compound on the teeth to remove very white or brown enamel stains over a series of appointments.
Maintaining Whitened Teeth
Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal with a whitening toothpaste. But at the very least a nightly brushing with a good stain removing toothpaste will help. Allowing food staining particles to remain on your teeth can lead to discoloration.
If your teeth tend to stain rapidly after a professional cleaning, use a straw to drink coffee or tea. These drinks more easily stain teeth and using a straw helps the liquid to bypass your teeth, maintaining whiteness. Refrain from smoking. Smoking is a major cause of discoloration and continuing the habit quickly stains your whitened teeth.
Follow a professional bleaching appointment with a home-based whitening kit. Ask your doctor about special kits offered at the office and have the procedure repeated as often as needed.