Tooth enamel comes in different shades and may change over time. While there are a variety of methods available that can help whiten teeth, they might not all be right for you.
If you’d like to whiten your teeth, Dr. Zelikow is more than happy to review all of your options with you. He has been helping patients in Chicago, Lincolnwood, Elmwood Park, Evanston, and the surrounding areas for years get the white smiles they’ve always wanted.
Why aren’t my teeth white?
There are a few different reasons why your teeth are not as white as you’d like. Some causes may be associated with:
Contact with certain foods or drinks
Excess fluoride during tooth development
Despite the reasons for the state of your teeth, with today’s technology, there are many different options to brighten your smile.
How can I whiten my teeth?
Depending on your desired results, you may opt for a process you can do from the comfort of your own home, or one that is administered in a dental office.
There are a range of at-home processes you may use to whiten your teeth. Whitening toothpastes, strips, and trays are some of the more common options.
This is the gentlest kind of whitening technique. You can use whitening toothpaste at home without the supervision of a dental professional. This technique usually doesn’t have side effects because it whitens using a polishing action instead of chemicals.
Whitening toothpaste can lighten your teeth, but it will not get your teeth as white as other products containing harsh chemicals. When used correctly, it should whiten your teeth slowly over a few days or weeks. While most whitening toothpastes can easily be bought over the counter, they have not all earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. In regards to oral hygiene, it is best to use products that have been reviewed by the ADA and carry their Seal of Acceptance.
Dental professionals can custom fit a tray for your teeth that you take home and use with whitening gel to brighten your teeth. Be sure to ask your dentist any questions you may have regarding this procedure.
For tougher stains, quicker change, and a bigger difference, an in-office whitening treatment might be right for you. Dental professionals are specially trained to administer a higher dosage of peroxide to get your teeth whiter than you can at home. A laser or light may also be used along with the peroxide. To protect your gums, the dental professionals may use a gel or thin sheet of rubber. While in-office treatments cannot be done at home, the process is very quick and the most effective.
How do I take care of my teeth after a whitening treatment?
If you are utilizing a toothpaste or strips, carefully follow the instructions included in the packaging. When being fitted for a dental tray or treated for other in-office whitening procedures, the dental professionals will instruct you on how to take care of your teeth after your treatment. In some cases, your teeth and gums may be sensitive or susceptible after a whitening session. To promote white teeth, avoid stain-causing foods, drinks, and tobacco.
Dr. Zelikow loves seeing the joy a whiter smile can bring to patients from Chicago, Lincolnwood, Elmwood Park, Evanston, and the surrounding areas. Give his office a call today at (773) 348-3309 to schedule an appointment to go over the ways he can bring that joy into your life!
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth.
The darker tissue of your teeth, the dentin, can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco.
Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, berries and soy sauce are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.
One type of stain—caused by traumatic injuries, medications and fluorosis—actually begins inside the tooth; brushing and flossing don’t help. Another type of stain—one that can be more easily attacked by brushing, flossing and rinsing—is caused by external factors such as foods.
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commercially available "whitening toothpastes" can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. However, many of these products have abrasive substances that can actually wear away your tooth's enamel.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth, or on restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding and tooth-colored fillings (porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be more appropriate in this case).
Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method; done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.
In need of immediate care?
Dr. Zelikow provides emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call (773) 348-3309