Having a clear, perfect smile is an excellent investment in yourself because it boosts your confidence and overall well-being. Among the best ways to improve your smile is by undergoing a teeth-whitening process to improve the shade of your teeth. Since teeth whitening requires introducing powerful bleaching chemicals to your teeth, you want to work with an experienced professional who understands the importance of following the correct procedures. By choosing an experienced dentist, you can also access beneficial information about the essence of treatment and how to prepare yourself.

At Washington Dental, you will work with some of the best dentists available to take you through a teeth-whitening process. Our years of experience handling teeth whitening processes make us a great option, as we aim to deliver the best results possible. You can also count on the team to provide useful details about teeth-whitening procedures and what you need to know beforehand. Further, all processes are tailor-made to meet your needs, so you can expect the specific shade of teeth you want. If you are looking for teeth whitening services in Carson, California, you can schedule an appointment with us.

What Tooth Whitening Entails

Tooth whitening is a process that aims to correct tooth discoloration that may occur from various causes. It often involves introducing whitening agents to the teeth enamels, creating a chemical reaction that lifts teeth shades. The overall goal is to ensure the teeth acquire a lighter shade, giving you a more appealing look.

Several tooth-whitening methods have come up over the years, and learning about them can help you further understand what the process entails. Firstly, you may undergo tooth whitening through bleaching, which is the most common option. The method uses effective tooth bleaches like hydrogen peroxide to create a lighter shade effect.

Tooth bleaching requires a delicate balance in the chemicals introduced to the teeth, and using harsh bleaching agents can be detrimental to your overall health. Therefore, you should only partner with an experienced dentist to receive safe treatment options. Additionally, understanding the types of bleaches used in tooth whitening is important, primarily to help determine whether you are allergic.

Alternatively, your dentist may recommend bleaching through tooth sanding. The tooth sanding method involves filing down the discolored part of the tooth until the new part of your enamel is visible. Its essence is to wear out the discolored enamel, making it dissolve away and creating space for the non-discolored part of your tooth.

Although the tooth sanding method is viable, it is most effective when dealing with a small, discolored area. Sanding down multiple teeth can create dental complications that did not previously exist, so you must carefully consider this method's pros and cons. Further, you are more likely to experience tooth irritation or sensitivity during the sanding process, making it a less likely option if you have existing sensitivity conditions.

Also, consider using UV light therapy to whiten your teeth. You are more likely to settle for this option if you prefer to complete the process at your own convenience. The UV light therapy option requires you to purchase a whitening gel and a mouth device that projects the UV light on your teeth.

Your dentist will then direct you on how to use these tools to achieve teeth whitening, and you need to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. In choosing this option, you should understand that the teeth-whitening process will be gradual. As a result, you will need to repeat the issued instructions over a specified period to ensure you achieve the results you intended.

Parties Eligible for Tooth Whitening Processes

Many patients are prone to tooth discoloration, some with temporary effects and others with permanent discoloration. In both instances, considering the tooth whitening processes is advisable, as you will uncover the enamel layer and achieve the desired tooth shade.

Establishing whether you are eligible for a teeth whitening procedure is important, as you can then determine when to schedule your consultation meeting. The following are circumstances that make you eligible for a teeth-whitening consultation with your dentist:

Exposure to Specific Medication

Although you may have a consistent dental hygiene regimen, you may start noticing tooth discoloration from certain medications. These include antibiotics, which may interfere with overall bodily functions and disrupt dental health.

The tooth discoloration becomes more noticeable with more prescription use, and the condition may worsen if you have an extended dosage. Nevertheless, you can have the situation reversed through teeth whitening, enabling you to achieve a bright smile. You can also avoid tooth discoloration from medication altogether by asking your doctor to prescribe a different medication. In doing so, you minimize the damage to your enamels and the overall cost of subsequent dental procedures.

Discoloration from Lifestyle Activities

Tooth discoloration from lifestyle choices is the most common reason to seek treatment. Based on this, you need to determine whether you are increasing your chances of tooth discoloration.

For example, if you are used to drinking black coffee regularly, you will notice a darker shade of teeth that thicken over time. Similarly, you may face the same outcome from regular red wine and other brightly colored beverages. Although you do not have to stop consuming the beverages altogether, you want to establish a workable solution to slow down or stop the discoloration altogether. For example, you can start brushing after every drink to remove the color coating.

Further, consuming colored foods regularly also exposes you to tooth discoloration. Brightly colored sauces are the main cause of discoloration, so you may want to avoid them if you intend to resolve the condition.

Smoking is also a common cause of tooth discoloration because of the chemicals you expose the teeth to during the smoking process. Firstly, the tar from the smoke you inhale will accumulate over time, making your teeth a shade darker than their natural appearance.

After continuous use, the nicotine can access your inner tooth parts, specifically the dentine, and cause more discoloration. You also risk having the effects affect your gums, leading to teeth falling out or breaking off. Due to this, your teeth's appearance may deteriorate faster than from exposure to the other components discussed above, making smoking an overall harmful habit.

Discoloration from Ageing

Aging is a natural process affecting multiple body parts, including your teeth. The discoloration will begin during aging because of exposure to multiple components over the years. Although you have a good brushing routine, discoloration may occur, especially in tight tooth spaces. Nevertheless, teeth whitening is useful in reversing the effects of tooth discoloration caused by aging.

Although teeth-whitening processes are available to remedy tooth discoloration, some parties should wait until their conditions or circumstances resolve. By consulting your dentist, they will advise you on whether to delay the process or provide alternative procedures. Some circumstances that may prevent tooth whitening procedures include:

  • When dealing with tooth sensitivity.
  • When dealing with a ruptured dentine.
  • When pregnant.
  • When dealing with gum diseases.

Types of Stains Requiring Tooth Whitening Removal

Tooth stains vary in position and severity depending on various factors. As a result, your dentist will distinguish between stains to enable them to create an effective treatment plan. Some stains call for more intensive cleaning methods than others, thus requiring analysis before administering the cleaning process.

Extrinsic Stains

An extrinsic stain occurs on the tooth's surface, meaning on the top layer of your enamel. It is easy to resolve because it often occurs based on secondary causes like lifestyle choices. For example, coffee, smoking, and food stains are extrinsic because they coat the top teeth surface over time.

Your dentist may recommend one to three cleaning sessions to correct the discoloration before you can achieve the required shade. However, the process can conclude sooner, especially if you schedule a consultation soon after noticing the discoloration.

Intrinsic Stains

Conversely, intrinsic stains occur in the inner tooth layers, often inside the enamel. As the name suggests, they occur because of processes affecting the inside of your tooth. These could be through biological processes or exposure to chemicals.

Intrinsic stains are more complex to resolve because they affect a significant percentage of the tooth. They often arise from taking antibacterial medication or from gradually thinning your tooth enamel. Nonetheless, your dentist will suggest effective teeth cleaning methods to help you achieve a great smile.

Tooth Whitening Options to Consider

When researching teeth cleaning, you will come across various options, each offering several benefits. Upon obtaining the relevant details, you can decide on the most suitable process for your convenience. If you are still determining your best options, consult your trusted dental team for more details. Some available options include:

Using Whitening Toothpaste

Teeth-whitening toothpaste is available in many brands, and you can choose your favorite one to begin the process. However, you should note that whitening your teeth using toothpaste is a long and gradual process, so observing any drastic results may take a while.

You also need to be aware of false advertising that violates consumer protection laws, which you can identify in a toothpaste brand’s labeling and advertising. For example, avoid brands that promise instant results after using toothpaste for a short time. To avoid setbacks when whitening toothpaste, consult your dentist for the best recommendations.

Using a Dental Kit

Alternatively, you can begin the teeth-whitening process using a dental kit. It consists of a whitening gel, a UV-light mouthguard, and additional tools necessary to clean your mouth before inserting the mouthguard.

A dental kit helps you improve the shade of your teeth by using UV light activation on the gel to gently bleach the teeth. Since the tools are portable, you can use them at home or anywhere else, provided you create a consistent routine.

For the best results, you want to obtain the dental kit from your dentist’s clinic rather than over the counter. In doing so, you will receive complimentary information about how to use the equipment effectively for good results. You will also receive guidelines that prevent damaging your enamels from gel overapplication or overexposure to UV light from the mouth guard.

Undergoing a Tooth Whitening Process at the Clinic

The most suitable option is to consult your dentist and schedule a sit-in tooth whitening process at the clinic. By choosing this option, you are better positioned to receive professional services backed by years of experience and information on teeth whitening.

Moreover, you do not have to worry about tooth damage because your dentist understands the best strategy to apply when whitening your teeth. Further, a teeth cleaning session conducted in a clinic gives you access to the best products. You can look forward to better services than over-the-counter toothpaste and dental kits.

What to Expect During the Sit-In Tooth Whitening Process

After scheduling your teeth whitening procedure with your dentist, you will begin a series of clinic visits and undergo several operations. You can better benefit from the process by understanding what is expected of you. You can expect the following procedures during the tooth-whitening process:

Provide Your Medical History Details

During the first consultation meeting, our dentist will explain several expectations during the teeth whitening. Additionally, your dentist will ask several questions, including about your medical history. They do this to obtain all relevant information during the whitening process.

For example, by providing your medical history, your dentist can determine the primary cause of your staining. It is essential to give details concerning your physical and mental health, as they may point toward crucial factors. Smoking and drinking continuously are sometimes linked to underlying mental health conditions, resulting in teeth staining over time.

Medical history also includes any previous dental procedures you have undergone, including root canals, implant placements, and gum diseases, if any. Mentioning these conditions to your dentist gives them a chance to examine your dental health and ensure your teeth will not be at risk of degeneration from the bleaching agents used.

With the details you provide to your dentist, they can establish the most suitable way to proceed with treatment. Further, they can provide guidelines and notes to doctors who prescribe medicine linked to teeth staining to achieve better results.

Disclose Any Allergies to Bleaching Agents

When providing information on your medical history, disclose any known allergies you may have. You need to give these details even if you do not believe that your allergies are linked to the current treatment. With the details, your dentist can infer the most suitable cleaning agent to use during treatment to avoid adverse allergic reactions.

Have Your Photos Taken

The last stage of your pre-treatment preparations involves taking photos of your teeth. Your dentist can do this from their end for record-keeping purposes. Alternatively, you may take the images yourself.

On top of taking the photos for record-keeping, they also serve as a comparator after the teeth-whitening procedure. This way, you can determine the improvement level created by the treatment and work toward maintaining it.

The Bleaching Process

Many dentists prefer using bleaching during teeth whitening because it is gentle on the teeth but still very effective. Undergoing the bleaching process is relatively tolerable, mainly because you do not have to worry about invasive procedures.

Nevertheless, some patients may experience tooth irritation as your dentist focuses on the stained tooth. Despite this, you will not experience pain unless you have an undetected underlying condition. The following are the critical teeth-whitening steps you will undergo:

Deep Cleaning the Teeth

The process begins with deep cleaning your teeth to provide a clear working space for your dentist. Sometimes, the cleaning process may ease the bleaching intensity on the teeth, as deep cleaning can remove persistent plaque, often mistaken for stains.

A deep cleaning process involves using special dental compost with tooth cleaning agents to remove the plaque layers and any other particles stuck in between your teeth. After rinsing the teeth off, your dentist dries them and prepares for the next step.

Tooth Polishing

Polishing the teeth before bleaching them also ensures that the shade improves to the desired intensity by removing additional stain layers. The polishing process involves applying gentle friction to the tooth surfaces to smooth them in preparation for using the bleaching gel.

Installation of Cheek Retractors

Cheek retractors are essential during teeth cleaning because they keep your lips from contacting the bleaching agent once the process begins. They become necessary to prevent the natural reflex from closing your mouth after some time, which may interfere with the cleaning process and expose you to ingesting the bleaching chemical. Inserting cheek retractor devices is a quick step during the process, but it is essential to understand their relevance in the procedure.

Application of the Whitening Gel

Once your teeth are ready after polishing, your dentist will apply the whitening gel. Some patients have stains on all teeth, while others may only need the gel on specific stained teeth. As a result, the amount of gel administered varies from one patient to another.

They will then let the gel sit for a few seconds to let it penetrate the inner enamel surface, where the bleaching reaction occurs. Usually, teeth bleaching involves the removal of the stain molecules using the bleaching chemical, leaving a brighter shade on your enamel.

Applying UV Light to Activate the Gel

UV light is also applicable during the bleaching process to speed up the movement of molecules. Based on this, your dentist will introduce UV light for a few seconds on the stained teeth to ensure bleaching completes effectively. If needed, the dentist will repeat the bleaching process several times until they achieve your desired tooth shade.

Risks Associated With Teeth Whitening

Some patients may report side effects after undergoing a teeth whitening process, but these cases vary from patient to patient and rarely occur. Nevertheless, your dentist should inform you that you may face tooth sensitivity or gum irritation after completing a teeth whitening procedure.

Tooth sensitivity stems from any excessive bleaching of your enamel that may expose your nerves to external conditions. You will then begin experiencing sharp pains when taking hot or cold food or drinks. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity may increase in intensity depending on the severity of your case.

Gum irritations are likely to occur when the bleaching used to whiten your teeth makes contact with your gums. Since the flesh making up the gums is sensitive and may cause abrasion, you could suffer serious gum irritation and subsequent gum disease.

If left unattended for some time, gum disease may cause complications, including bacterial infections. Some additional outcomes include loose teeth as the gums are unable to support them in position, and in extreme conditions, you may lose some teeth.

Upon experiencing any symptoms associated with either condition, inform your dentist about it as soon as possible. In doing so, you protect yourself from facing the adverse effects discussed above. You are then in a better position to maintain your new tooth shade after the whitening process.

Contact a Reputable Dentist Near Me

Tooth discoloration is a common dental condition that affects your overall appearance and confidence. Despite this, you can access cleaning processes to help correct the discoloration and achieve a brilliant smile. Upon seeking treatment, you want to consult your dentist on the best teeth-whitening option. By receiving the information, you will avoid potential dental damage that could negatively affect your mental health. Therefore, an experienced dentist is essential; they will walk you through the entire process with minimal risks.

At Washington Dental, you will receive excellent dental services, including tooth whitening. The team has worked with hundreds of patients over the years and understands the need to undertake the processes carefully. Moreover, you will receive rich information to guide you on the best aftercare treatment to apply. Thanks to the details, you can maintain your new smile and avoid potential future discoloration. If you or a loved one needs to undergo a teeth whitening procedure in Carson, California, contact us today at 310-217-1507 to book an appointment.