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Whitening

February 18, 2014

"Bleaching or whitening your teeth has become a common procedure in dentistry. As we get older the teeth often get darker as the structure becomes denser and reflects less light. Teeth also become stained from bacteria, the pigment of foods that we eat, drink and tobacco use. Certain antibiotics that are taken while the teeth are developing can also result in permanent staining to teeth.

There are many methods to whiten teeth. It is recommended that you have an exam by a dentist that thoroughly checks the health of your teeth, gums and includes a medical history and a review of any allergies and sensitivities. The next step is to establish daily good oral hygiene habits. The second is a professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist to remove debris and surfaces stains. Then bleaching agents that contain carbamide peroxide can be used to lighten the shade of the teeth. Carbamide peroxide is an oxidizing agent that bubbles out the stains that have accumulated in the porous part of the mineralized structure of the teeth.

Results can vary, depending on which application is chosen. The range of whitening agents can vary from over the counter strips, toothpastes, gums and rinses to paint on gels. Professional products range from at home trays to a one time dental office visit. The at home method is achieved by using custom guard trays. Thin trays are constructed over a model of the patient's teeth. The dentist then proscribes the concentration of gel that will whiten the teeth but not irritate the gum tissue. The at home method can be used to achieve good results but requires daily use for 7 to 14 days. An instant result can be achieved in one visit to the dental office by applying a light that increases the potency of the whitening gel and allows it to penetrate the tooth faster. Treatment times and recommendation are dependent upon the condition of the patient's teeth.

Bleaching can produce dramatic changes to your smile. I have seen patients come in afraid to smile or hide their smile with their hand and then after bleaching have more self confidence and be willing to share a smile. Frown and you frown alone, but smile and the whole world smiles with you.

The dental team of Dr. Lois Lagier is dedicated to providing you with the state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable atmosphere. Let us care for you!"

The Pine Cone - Your Dental Health - Presented by Lois Lagier, D.D.S.

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