Teeth Whitening

Is there anything more friendly and inviting than a bright, white smile? But when you looked in the mirror this morning, you may have been discouraged to find that your teeth are more yellow or discolored than they used to be. Even your best efforts to care for your teeth have not kept the sparkle alive. It’s actually a very common concern. In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they’d most like to improve about their smile, and the number one response was whiter teeth.

How teeth lose their white

Several lifestyle, medical and environmental factors can affect the natural color of our teeth and the changes in color:

  • Coffee, tea and red wine contain chromogens (color pigments) that stain the enamel.
  • Tar and nicotine in tobacco are natural stains.
  • After years of brushing our teeth, the outer enamel gets thinner and allows the soft, yellowish dentin inside to show through.
  • Injuries to teeth may cause the teeth to lay down more dentin.
  • Antihistamines, antipsychotics and high blood pressure medications can cause teeth to darken, as can chemotherapy and head and neck radiation.
  • Babies exposed to antibiotics, even in the womb, may have discolored adult teeth.

Teeth whitening methods

Depending on the amount of dental work you’ve had, your mouth’s sensitivity and the color of your teeth, Dr. Boyajian can suggest appropriate whitening methods:

  • Whitening toothpastes. Including mild abrasives and other agents, these can remove minor surface stains.
  • Professional bleaching. Usually done in one visit, the dentist applies a bleaching agent to the teeth while shielding the gums to reduce possible irritation. Sometimes special lights are used to enhance the process. Natural teeth can be immediately whitened.
  • Home bleaching. Typically involving a mouthguard containing a peroxide-based whitener applied to teeth over several days, this method is dentist-prescribed but can be lower cost than in-office treatments.

Keep in mind that teeth whitening will not work on crowns, veneers, fillings or caps. If you’re going to have a cosmetic or restorative treatment, do your teeth whitening first so the treated tooth can be color matched to your newly whitened teeth.

Choosing the best teeth whitening option

Teeth whiteners may cause tooth sensitivity. Most people find that the sensitivity goes away in a short time, and they can try using the whitener again. But overuse of teeth whiteners may damage the enamel or gums. Let Dr. Boyajian know if you have any discomfort with your whitener; he will advise you about the teeth whitening method best suited to your mouth. A brighter, more cheerful smile may be just one office visit away!

We invite you to call today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Boyajian, one of Beverly Hills’ premier cosmetic, general and holistic dentists. It would be our pleasure to serve you.

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