-Answers to the Top Three Questions
Our Dental Hygiene Team is Asked-
Jon Frankel Dentistry, Toledo, Ohio
How can I get whiter teeth?
The norm for tooth color has changed. Teeth are whiter than before. Even the professional color guides have been updated to reflect the lighter shades. The first step toward whiter teeth is an evaluation and professional teeth cleaning.
The evaluation will determine if the shade is internal or external. Stain due to bacteria, foods or habits like smoking can be removed with a professional dental cleaning. Internal stain will not lighten with a dental cleaning. There are however, several options toward lightening stain that has penetrated the tooth surface.
It is essential to limit behaviors that darken teeth throughout the whitening process.
Coffee, tea and red wine leave their mark! Close attention to avoiding foods that stain teeth like blueberries, facilitate rapid results. Immediately after whitening the teeth are receptive to color. Recommended foods like skinless chicken, poached white fish, cottage cheese and plain yogurt speed the process. White foods promote white teeth!
There are several ways to whiten teeth. The type of stain is the primary determinant in choosing a teeth whitening method. Another factor is an upcoming event limiting the time allowed to whiten.
Ways to Whiten Teeth
-Over the counter whitening strips can whiten teeth. Often patients find this a simple approach to general teeth whitening.
-Custom made professional whitening systems allow the patient to manage and control the whitening process. The individualized trays fit perfectly. Professional whitening systems are designed to lighten by repeated daily use. Time options for daily use include 15 minute, 30 minute, several hour or over night procedures. Proper and daily use is the key to success. Generally after two weeks of daily use the teeth are noticeably lighter.
-In office whitening systems such as Brite Smile or Zoom offer one visit teeth lightening. Patients who have pre-whitened at home often achieve dramatic results. The process takes one to two hours. Continuing with at-home whitening keeps teeth light and may even further the whitening. This option is popular for individuals with an upcoming event or photograph/ film session.
-KOR Whitening is an ideal solution for deeply stained teeth. It requires an in-office pre-conditioning, uniquely-designed individual trays for over-night use at home for two to eight weeks followed by an in-office whitening. Teeth previously considered impossible to lighten can be whitened with KOR Whitening. Absolute patient compliance is key attaining results. The results are life changing especially for those with Tetracycline stain.
-A non-vital tooth has lost the vibrancy from active vascular and nervous tissue. Whether due to an injury, decay or a root canal procedure the tooth has died and will darken with time. Internal bleaching may temporarily lightened the tooth. Generally the final option is to prepare a full crown matching the adjacent teeth. Crowns do not lighten. Whitening the adjacent teeth to the desired color prior designing and placing the crown is recommended.
There is an additional benefit to whitening teeth aside from a brighter smile. After taking the time and effort to whiten folks often take better care of their dental and oral health. A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body!