BRIGHTEN THE HOLIDAYS WITH A BRIGHT SMILE!The holiday season is in full swing with Christmas music playing on the radio, Christmas shoppers at the malls, and holiday parties to attend. Then with holiday parties come wine drinking, hot chocolate, and apple cider!
But did you know some drinks and food such as wine, blueberries, and tea may stain your teeth?
Your dentist can tell much about your health just by looking in your mouth. Yellow stained teeth may mean you are a smoker and dark black and grey stains may mean you are an avid coffee drinker. Your hygienist can help brighten your smile with a dental cleaning by removing superficial extrinsic teeth stains, plaque, and tartar buildup.
After your dental cleaning, you may want a whiter, more youthful smile. If this is the case, there are some teeth whitening options to consider.
IN-OFFICE BLEACHINGIn the past, the in-office bleaching technique took longer and had post-operative tooth sensitivity. However, more recent systems such as ZOOM whitening and BOOST whitening have reduced teeth sensitivity with advances in chemistry. Some whitening gels now include photo-reactive and catalytic substances to break down the hydrogen peroxide (the tooth whitening agent) at a faster more efficient rate which produces more oxygen ions to shorten whitening times. Specific wavelengths for bleaching lights have also been identified which generate less heat and discomfort. In-office teeth whitening systems require less time and have less post-operative teeth sensitivity which make it a very convenient and comfortable option.
For extreme cases of intrinsic internal stains such as tetracycline induced stains, full porcelain crowns or porcelain cosmetic veneers may be necessary to accomplish the desired esthetics.
AT-HOME BLEACHINGAt-home whitening systems have become increasingly popular. Particularly for harder to remove stains such as internal intrinsic tetracycline staining, it may be necessary to use both the at-home and in-office teeth bleaching systems to maximize teeth whitening. This type of system requires an impression of your upper and lower teeth to make customized bleaching trays which you then take home along with a teeth whitening gel kit.
OVER THE COUNTER TOOTH WHITENINGMilder cases of extrinsic staining may be done with over-the-counter teeth whitening products. These whitening products tend to be popular as they can be very cost-effective. However, the whitest results may not be achieved due to their generic nature. Crest 3D White Strips is a popular and fairly effective option for at home bleaching.
Ask your dentist which teeth bleaching system will give you the results you want. By keeping up with your routine dental exams and cleanings and choosing the right teeth whitening system, you will be well on your way in obtaining the brightest smile for family and friends over the holidays.
From your gentle family dentist in Bellevue and Redmond,
Dr. Miki Suetsugu
Dr. Peter Chien