Over time, your teeth can start to appear yellower or darker in color. This can be the result of staining from food and drink, daily habits such as smoking, or a tooth injury. Teeth can also lose their brightness as a natural effect of aging – as the tooth enamel wears down over time, the layer underneath (dentin), which is darker in color, becomes more visible and gives the teeth a darker appearance. If you want to have a bright, white smile, try a tooth whitening treatment at Dr. Thurmond’s dental practice in Raleigh, NC.
When it comes to tooth whitening, you have several options. Lower-cost, over-the-counter treatments include toothpaste, strips, and gels. These can be effective, but to see the most dramatic change in the brightness of your teeth, a treatment at the dentist office is recommended. These treatments contain the highest concentration of whitening agent and generally result in less sensitivity than store-bought methods.
This procedure is also called chairside bleaching and consists of alternating periods of applying a hydrogen peroxide gel and giving the teeth a light treatment. At the end of the procedure, a fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth in order to reduce sensitivity. It usually takes about one hour and can whiten teeth up to ten shades.
If you prefer to complete the treatment on your own, a take-home option is available. This method takes a little longer as it consists of several applications of a hydrogen peroxide gel over the course of several days. The gel is applied via a mouth guard and must be worn for a specific length of time.