Tooth whitening has become more popular for many reasons.
- First, the number of available services and at-home products have made whitening more affordable.
- Second, the process itself has been improved by new technologies and years of study by teeth whitening dentists.
- Third, the nature of our diets today is requiring a more discerning look at the effect of food on the color of our teeth.
Dr. Marchbanks has worked with hundreds of patients looking for teeth whitening in Arlington, and he always starts with a consultation around the types of teeth stains and what teeth whitening options are best for each.
- Extrinsic teeth stains are stains on the surface of a tooth. This happens when build-up from food or drink creates a film of protein that covers the tooth enamel. Regularly drinking coffee, tea, wine or sodas often cause these stains, and tobacco use can also do it.
- Intrinsic teeth stains are where the stain seeps below the surface of the tooth, accumulating within the tooth enamel. These stains are trickier to remove, but can be corrected with many teeth whitening products.
- Age-related teeth stains combine intrinsic and extrinsic tooth discoloration as the dentin of the patient’s teeth naturally show through the enamel (which thins over time). This type of discoloration is the hardest to correct.
Teeth Bleaching vs Whitening
Teeth whitening is the blanket term for all the procedures where the natural color of teeth can be restored by removing stains. Whiteners are basically cleaning agents and are frequently found in popular toothpastes and mouth washes.
We call a lot of things “tooth whitening” that are really “tooth bleaching.” Teeth bleaching refers to the whitening of teeth beyond their natural color. Many of the at-home teeth bleaching kits use active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, making it that much more important to talk to a professional before trying at-home whitening treatments (to ensure you apply them right).
The whitening or bleaching process you elect will depend on the type of tooth stains you have and whether you want to try something at home or go straight to the professionals. If you do try something at home but don’t get the desired results, call us at Dr. Marchbanks D.D.S. for teeth whitening in and around Arlington!