The Truth About Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is an effective way to lighten and brighten the appearance of your smile. However, the results are temporary and require a consistent, diligent oral hygiene routine to maintain your new smile.

Since the late 1980’s, many companies have introduced a variety of teeth bleaching products into the U.S. marketplace. Most of these whitening treatments contain a chemical agent that reacts with the staining compounds and lightens them (see Fig. 1). It’s important to understand that not all types of tooth discoloration are responsive to whitening. In fact, very aggressive bleaching regimens can erode and damage the enamel, leaving the dentin exposed and making the tooth teeth whitening in jacksonville fl appear yellower.

The two main sources of discoloration of the teeth are intrinsic (dentine) and extrinsic (enamel). Intrinsic stains occur within the dentin and can be difficult to lighten with chemical bleaching alone; more esthetic treatment options such as veneers or bonding would be required. These stains are often caused by trauma or by the medications used to treat infections such as tetracycline antibiotics.

Extrinsic stains are typically those caused by food, coffee, tea, red wine, smoking and other environmental factors. They can be removed from the enamel using a bleaching agent that interacts with the surface of the tooth to break up and remove the staining particles.

During a teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will place a protective shield over your gums to prevent irritation. Then, a professional-grade bleaching agent is applied directly to the teeth. Unlike drugstore remedies, this professional whitening agent is capable of reaching the deeper layers of your enamel where the discoloration starts.

As the bleaching agent penetrates the enamel, it breaks up and neutralizes the chromogen molecules. Then, the teeth are rinsed and rinsed again until the desired shade is achieved. The process takes less than an hour and is extremely safe and effective when done under the care of a dental professional.

Teeth whitening isn’t a permanent solution, but it can provide you with a brighter smile that will last for months and even years with a regular brushing routine and by abstaining from foods and beverages that stain the teeth. Your dentist can also suggest a touch-up product that you can use to maintain your white smile between whitening treatments.

To keep your teeth looking their best, it is a good idea to avoid over-exposure to cigarette smoke and other environmental pollutants. You should also eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. And if you do happen to spill coffee or red wine on your teeth, make sure you rinse them right away. You can learn more about your options for maintaining a bright, healthy smile at This website is packed with information about your oral health and the latest advancements in dentistry. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Laughland by completing the simple form on this page.