Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Preparing for Teeth Whitening

Tooth discoloration can be caused by beverages, such as coffee, soda, and wine, damaged enamel, or even genetics. Fortunately, modern advances in teeth whitening have made discoloration a thing of the past. For those considering professional whitening, preparation is simple.

Determine Which Type of Whitening Is Necessary 
A close up of a woman smiling

Tooth discoloration comes in two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic discoloration is caused by staining liquids, such as coffee and tea, and affects only the surface of the teeth. This discoloration should be treated by a professional cleaning because bleaching has no effect. Intrinsic discoloration occurs beneath the surface and is caused by physical trauma to an adult tooth, the use of certain antibiotics, or genetic conditions. This type of discoloration can be addressed by applying bleaching gel to one’s teeth. It's not always easy to tell whether discoloration is extrinsic or intrinsic, which is why it's best to consult a professional to determine which type of whitening to use.

Have a Routine Cleaning

Teeth whitening shouldn't be performed when gum disease, cavities, exposed roots, or other underlying issues are present. Before undergoing whitening treatment, a dentist should perform a full cleaning and any other necessary dental services to ensure uniform whitening.

Consult a Shade Guide

Consulting a shade guide allows patients to determine the current shade of their teeth and identify their goals for whitening sessions. This has the added benefit of comparing shades before and after whitening to determine if a patient would like to schedule additional sessions to achieve their desired look.

Desensitize Teeth

For many patients, there is no discomfort or pain associated with teeth whitening. However, some people with sensitive teeth or gums may experience unpleasantness during their procedures. These patients can invest in desensitizing toothpaste prior to any procedures to avoid potential discomfort.

Hold Off If Expecting

Pregnant or nursing mothers are advised to wait until nursing is finished to have teeth whitening procedures. Because medical professionals are unsure about the effects whitening chemicals have on fetuses, they recommend avoiding whitening procedures until after pregnancy.

Teeth whitening can reduce unsightly discoloration with a simple procedure. If you're interested in teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry services in Independence, MO, call Hanson Dentistry at 816-373-5606 to schedule an appointment today!

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