Teeth Whitening and Cosmetic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL
We all want pearly whites, but some of us have teeth that are naturally more yellow than others. Sometimes our teeth get less white as we age, and tooth color can be affected by other factors such as:
- Tobacco usage
- Drinking significant amounts of red wine, tea or coffee
- Eating pigmented foods such as dark berries
- Tartar deposits
- Tetracycline dosing during childhood
- Tooth trauma that results in the death of the nerve
- Taking too much fluoride during childhood
- Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
A thorough cleaning by a dentist will remove stains caused by food and drink, and whitening toothpastes can keep your smile white between office visits. If stains are old or persistent, however, you may need cosmetic dentistry in Huntsville AL. Crowns, bonding and bleaching are all effective and safe, and your dentist can recommend the right treatment based on the condition of your teeth and your desired results.
How Tooth Whitening Works
Bleaching can be done at home or in your cosmetic dentists office, using a prescription-strength system. All methods use gels which oxidize and remove stains, and these gels can cause slight sensitivity issues. Below we’ll explain how both types of whitening systems work.
At-home kits are a common approach. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and make trays, which you fill with bleaching gel. The trays can be work for two hours a day, or at night for roughly two weeks. Many at-home kits contain up to 15% carbamide peroxide, and when used properly, are quite effective.
Office whitening is more expensive and less common. Each visit can take up to an hour, and you may need more than one visit to achieve your desired result. To protect your gums, rubber shields and gels may be used. An oxidizer is applied to the teeth, and some dentists use special lights to activate the gel.
Keeping Your White Smile
Any tooth, even those with veneers or bonding, can stain. To prevent a stain recurrence, avoid red wine, dark berries, tea and coffee as much as possible, and brush your teeth at least twice per day with whitening toothpaste.