Did you know that teeth whitening has been practiced for thousands of years? The ancient Egyptians used to grind pumice stones and mix them with vinegar to create a tooth whitening paste.
More recently, dentists in the 1950s used to ask their patients to gargle with hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria. The side effect of this practice was sparkling teeth. Thus, a $6 billion industry was born.
What dental patients may not know is that DIY home whitening kits are much less effective than professionally supervised treatments. To learn more about teeth whitening, keep reading.
Types of Tooth Discoloration
There are two types of tooth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains come from outside sources like carbonated beverages, tea, coffee, and wine. These foods affect the external part of the tooth and teeth whitening is an effective treatment in this case.
Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, affect teeth on a deeper level. They may stem from medications like Benadryl or antipsychotics, or they may be hereditary in nature. These deep stains do not respond to teeth whitening and may require veneers.
In-House Treatment or Take-Home KIts: Which is better?
Dentists want to help their patients boost their confidence with professional teeth whitening treatments. If patients would like to receive treatment in the office, they will see results right away. Professional whitening can make teeth up to eight shades lighter in about one hour.
This transformation is possible because in-office whitening treatments have five times the amount of hydrogen peroxide as an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste.
Another option for whitening treatment is a take-home kit. These are stronger than the kits available in stores but take two weeks to achieve in-office results. The outcome is the same, so the choice is up to the patient.
How to Maintain a Dazzling Smile After Teeth Whitening
Stains from food will build up again over time, and patients will need teeth whitening treatments every six months or so. After a teeth whitening session, patients should avoid red wine, coffee, and cigarettes for at least 48 hours.
Instead, they should follow the “white diet.” They can eat a variety of white foods including:
- White fish
- Turkey or chicken
- Pasta, rice, and bread
- Egg whites
Dentists no longer recommend that their patients gargle with hydrogen peroxide, but there are medical-grade mouthwashes that can help keep smiles shining. Ideally, patients will cut back on smoking and drinking beverages like wine, soda, and tomato juice.
Teeth whitening is not known for having adverse side effects, but patients may experience some gum inflammation right after treatment. Their teeth may be more sensitive for up to 24 hours after treatment.
If you think you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening in Duncan, OK, talk to your dentist. They will help you decide which type of whitening treatment would be best for you.
Professional Teeth Whitening in Duncan, OK
Ready to boost your smile and your confidence? Dr. Matthew L. Bridges can help!
Call us at (580) 255-4880 to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your teeth whitening options.