Teeth Whitening in Buffalo, NY
Todd Shatkin DDS is an experienced Buffalo dentist providing affordable teeth whitening throughout Western New York. Contact Aesthetic Associates Centre today to arrange your free teeth whitening consultation.
As a baby, your teeth typically erupt through the gums as pearly white little nuggets. Unfortunately, over time, many different things can contribute to tooth discoloration, leaving you with a smile that just isn’t quite as bright. These days, everywhere you look you can find products claiming to whiten teeth. Everything from special toothpaste and at-home treatments, to professional whitening and bleaching done by your dentist. When choosing a tooth whitening option, it is essential to know all the information before you get started.
What Factors Can Contribute to Tooth Discoloration?
When it comes to tooth discoloration, the causes can be broken down into two main factors: internal and external. Internal changes occur when something affects the enamel or underlying dentin of the tooth. Some of the most common internal causes of discoloration include frequent antibiotic use, tooth decay, dental restorations, and trauma to the tooth or gums when the tooth is developing.
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Unlike internal causes that are often unavoidable, external causes are something you have a little more control over. The most common causes of external discoloration are smoking and certain beverages, such as coffee, tea, and sodas. With a few lifestyle changes, you can minimize discoloration from occurring and, should you choose to whiten your teeth, you must consider these external factors, as they will continue to discolor your teeth.
Is There a Difference Between Whitening and Bleaching?
When most people think about brightening their smile, they think of whitening their teeth. For this reason, the term whitening is often used to cover every treatment option available to restore a white color to the teeth. However, there is a distinct difference between whitening products and dental bleaching. Teeth whitening products, such as toothpastes, are designed to remove particles and stains on the surface of the tooth. While this can be beneficial and provide great results for removing external tooth discoloration, they will not address any internal discoloration of the teeth.
In order to address internal discoloration, a tooth whitening treatment with a bleaching agent that can penetrate through the enamel and break down internal discoloration is necessary. While over-the-counter products can be effective for mild internal discoloration, the bleaching concentrations are lower than those that cosmetic dentists offer and can take multiple applications to achieve the change you are looking for without the increased risk of potential side effects. Your best bet when it comes to really whitening your smile is visiting a cosmetic dentist and discussing your best options.
What is the Best Way to Really Achieve a Whiter Smile?
Cosmetic dentists specialize in restoring beautiful smiles and this is the best place to start. In-office teeth whitening is the safest and most regulated option for treating tooth discoloration. Before applying a whitening treatment, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth, removing any plaque or debris that can affect the whitening process. A check extractor is put into place to minimize contact of the bleaching agent to your skin and lips. A protective agent is also applied to the gumline to reduce contact. Your dentist will apply the bleaching agent to each tooth, making sure the tooth is completely treated. This chemical remains on your teeth for 15 to 30 minutes and, in some cases, a special light is used to enhance the whitening process.
In cases where only mild bleaching is necessary, or to help you maintain your new white color, the dentist can opt to send you home with a whitening kit. These kits are different than the ones that you can pick up at a local store. The bleaching concentration is higher, and they typically include a mold specifically made for your mouth to ensure that the chemical spreads evening over all your teeth.
Can Teeth Whitening Damage My Teeth?
While repeated teeth whitening can wear away at the tooth’s enamel, occasional whitening is safe and comes with little to no side effects. After a whitening treatment, you may experience temporary tooth sensitivity, though this typically goes away within a few days. Your dentist may recommend a toothpaste designed for tooth sensitivity after a whitening treatment. Gum irritation can occur if the chemical comes in contact, but this typically resolves within a few hours.
Taking Care of Your New Pearly Whites
After a tooth whitening treatment, there are a few things to consider. Remember that external factors can still contribute to tooth discoloration. If you can give up your morning coffee, consider brushing your teeth with a whitening toothpaste after you have had coffee, tea, or soda. This will extend the life of your new and bright smile.
If you would like to learn more about how teeth whitening can deliver new life to your smile, contact Todd Shatkin DDS at the Aesthetic Associates Centre to arrange your free consultation.
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