Whitening and Bonding Teeth – Two Paths to a Great Smile
A variety of factors can make your smile look a little more yellow than you would like. Tobacco use is a common cause of stains. The foods you eat and beverages you drink are also culprits. Accumulated tartar on tooth surfaces contributes to the problem, and trauma or injury to a tooth can discolor it dramatically. Some people are born with teeth that appear yellow. Even the process of aging can play a role. Fortunately, although you cannot control all the causes of tooth discoloration, teeth bleaching and dental bonding can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
You can perform teeth whitening procedures at home, or you can have them done at your dentist’s office. Teeth bleaching gels containing carbamide peroxide work by oxidizing stains. At-home whitening begins with your dentist making an impression of your teeth to create custom-fitted trays that maximize your tooth enamel’s exposure to the whitening gel. To treat your teeth at home, you will fill the trays with gel, and wear them for about two hours. This process is repeated daily for several weeks. When supervised by your dentist, at-home whitening delivers great results.
In-office teeth bleaching costs more, but the results are immediate and more dramatic. Before your dentist applies the bleaching formula, he or she will protect your gums with a gel or a rubber shield. After the bleach is applied directly to your teeth, a special light is used every five minutes to activate and accelerate the bleaching agent. To maintain the results of your newly whitened teeth longer, avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste formula, and refrain from smoking.
Bonding Teeth: An Alternative for Stubborn Discoloration
Dental bonding works well when teeth cannot be whitened using bleach. Bonding teeth with composite materials involves shaping and preparing your natural tooth, matching your tooth color, and applying a thin layer of composite resin to the entire surface. The new surface is then shaped and cured with a special light. Porcelain veneers are created in a lab using impressions of your teeth. Both techniques provide an effective way to make unsightly stains a memory.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Owings Mills, call Valley Dental Associates today at (443) 898-1240 or make an appointment.