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Why Your Cosmetic Dentist Might Recommend Professional Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening treatments might be recommended to you if you have stains and discoloration on your teeth. It is one of the most effective ways to improve the color of teeth without performing any invasive treatments.
How professional teeth whitening works
Teeth whitening involves using a bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide to remove discoloration from teeth surfaces. These agents can seep into the inner layers of teeth and whiten them, leading to noticeable results after a single treatment. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states a single teeth whitening session can improve the color of teeth by up to 10 shades.
Professional teeth whitening treatments are often administered using a mouth tray. The whitening products are dispensed into the tray, and the patient bites down on it. The mouth tray helps keep the whitening solution away from soft tissues in the mouth, like the gums, where it can lead to irritation.
The tray is kept in place between 60 to 90 minutes for each session. At times, dentists may use a laser or ultraviolet light to activate the bleaching agent for faster and better results.
At-home teeth whitening
Dentists also provide teeth whitening kits that patients can use at home. This is usually a more affordable option than in-office treatments, but results are slower because the bleaching agents in these kits are not as powerful as those used for in-office treatments.
At-home kits usually come with a customized mouth tray just like the one used for in-office treatments. Patients can expect to start seeing noticeable results within a few weeks of using one of these kits.
Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products
It can be tempting to experiment with one of the many OTC teeth whitening products sold at grocery stores and drug stores, but this is the least effective way to go about whitening teeth. The most powerful bleaching agents available today are not sold to the general public because their use needs to be supervised by a dentist.
For this reason, OTC whitening products contain less concentrated amounts of hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen carbamide. As a result, it can take months to get noticeable results when using these products.
Many lower-end OTC whitening products contain low-quality ingredients that can be abrasive on teeth. Thus, the patient might experience severe teeth sensitivity and even tooth pain. Some of these products can lead to permanent damage to teeth enamel. Given how affordable professional whitening treatments are, it is best to leave the task of whitening teeth to the professionals.
Why you need maintenance treatments
Teeth that have been whitened will continue to be exposed to all the things that stained them, so maintenance treatments are needed to maintain their new color. At-home whitening kits are a great way to go about doing this.
Get whiter teeth today
Call or visit our San Francisco clinic to learn more about why professional teeth whitening is highly recommended by cosmetic dentists.
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