Whitening has been a prominent buzzword in cosmetic dentistry over the past several years. It seems as though everyone is doing it – from over-the-counter strips, to pricier dental office treatments. But are all tooth whitening options created equal? What is the best choice for you when it comes to getting that brilliant white smile you’ve always wanted?
Types of Tooth Staining
Before you and your Amarillo dentist can decide on the appropriate choice for your teeth whitening treatment, you should understand how teeth become discolored. There are two types of staining – extrinsic and intrinsic. As you can guess, extrinsic stains are external, and can mostly be removed via your daily oral hygiene routine. This discoloration sits on the outside of your teeth and is not as difficult to remove as intrinsic.
Over the years, exposure to coffee, tea, tobacco, wine, and other substances can cause staining to penetrate into the teeth, causing intrinsic staining. This type of discoloration is more difficult to get out, which is what typically leads people to seek out a dentist in Amarillo to discuss their options.
Types of Whitening Treatments
Drug store treatments: Commonly known as white strips, these over-the-counter products offer the most affordable whitening option, however they are not as effective as professional treatments. If you have only mild staining, white strips can be worth a try. You should understand, however, that these strips do not fit your teeth precisely and so may miss gaps and other crevices.
At-home professional treatments: Your Amarillo dentist can provide you with whitening trays that are custom-made just for your mouth. This bleaching option allows you to carry out the treatment in the comfort of your own home, while achieving cosmetic dentistry level results.
In-office whitening: This type of treatment takes place in the dentist’s office, providing quick results and the most effective whitening of all the options. While in-office bleaching is more expensive than the at-home version, it does work faster.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity after undergoing one of these procedures. Your dentist can recommend a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Using this prior to treatment can help minimize any issues.