Improving your smile can be as simple as brightening your teeth with professional teeth whitening treatment. Our Akron, OH, dentist, Dr. Arthur Benson, discusses the teeth whitening process and explains the benefits of professional whitening.
Professional whitening targets stains
Although your tooth enamel appears to be perfectly smooth, it's actually very porous. Over time, stains collect in the enamel, turning your once-white teeth dull and yellow. Stains can be caused by the pigments in foods and beverages, tobacco smoke or the natural effects of aging. Hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient used in whitening treatments, breaks down and removes the stains trapped in your enamel.
Over-the-counter products vs. professional whitening
Over-the-counter whitening kits contain a less powerful hydrogen peroxide formulation that takes longer to lighten teeth. After using a commercial product for weeks or months, you may still be unhappy with the results. Thanks to professional strength hydrogen peroxide, it's possible to reduce whitening time to just one hour. After one 60-minute treatment in our Akron office, your teeth may be three- to eight-shades whiter.
Tooth sensitivity can be a problem after whitening treatment, particularly if you accidentally get the whitening gel on your roots or gums. Unfortunately, if you accidentally brush hydrogen peroxide on your gums, or the trays provided in a kit don't fit well, you're much more likely to experience pain.
Sensitivity is less likely to occur with professional whitening due to the steps taken to ensure your comfort and safety. Before the whitening session begins, a layer of protective gel will be applied to your gums to protect them. The sensitive tissue in your mouth and cheeks can also be irritated by hydrogen peroxide. Retractors, devices that hold the tissues away from your teeth, prevent irritation and damage.
In-office whitening isn't the only option when you choose professional whitening. Take-home kits that can be used to whiten teeth or touch up teeth after in-office whitening are also available. You'll be given whitening gel and a set of trays molded to fit your teeth. Using the trays as instructed will lighten your teeth in just a few weeks.
Are you ready to get rid of your dental stains? Call our Akron, OH, dentist, Dr. Benson, at (330) 666-8757 to schedule an appointment.