San Carlos, CA
Your smile is the first impression you leave. A major part of your smile is how your teeth look. If your teeth are dull and discolored, it can significantly impact your appearance as well as your confidence. This, in turn, can impact the way that others see you, whether you know it or not. At Frank Hsu, D.D.S., we can help you to brighten your smile with teeth whitening.
What Exactly is Teeth Whitening?
The enamel of your teeth is naturally bright white in color. However, over time, they can become dull and discolored. There are several factors that can contribute, including what you eat and drink, using tobacco products, and take certain types of medications. Discoloration can significantly decrease the quality of your smile, affecting the impressions that you leave on others. Teeth whitening is a treatment that is specifically designed to eliminate stains from your teeth, restoring their bright white color, as well as your confidence.
Professional Whitening Options
Teeth can be professionally whitened in one of two ways. One of these ways is through an in-office procedure known as chairside whitening. Chairside whitening takes one visit that takes about an hour to complete. After your teeth have been cleaned, a protective gel is applied to your gums, and the whitening gel is applied to your teeth. We shine a light over your mouth, which is done to help enhance the results. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient. This ingredient breaks down, and the peroxide forms tiny oxygen bubbles that enter into the enamel and dentin layers of your teeth. The bubbles latch onto stains and bleach them away. Your teeth can be whitened several shades in one appointment with results visible right away.
Your other option for professional whitening is whitening trays. Trays are made from impressions of your mouth and allow you to whiten your teeth at home. The trays hold the whitening gel against the surfaces of your teeth. Treatment generally takes one to two weeks, with results often showing in just under seven days.
Can I Use Over the Counter Whiteners?
There are several different types of over the counter whitening products. You can often find them in the oral care aisle of the supermarket. Common over the counter whiteners includes whitening toothpaste and strips. Toothpaste is often just surface polishers, meaning that they can only remove surface stains. Strips contain low levels of whitening agents, so it may take several applications to see the results. Over the counter, products are generally effective for minor stains, but if you have deeper stains, or want more drastic results, professional whitening will help you to better achieve your goals.
How Safe is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is very safe. With chairside whitening, we apply a protective gel to your gums, which helps to prevent against any irritation the whitening gel might cause. Teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is only temporary. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, a specially designed toothpaste can often help.
The right teeth whitening treatment can restore the brilliance to your smile, boosting your confidence and giving you the ability for people to see the real you. While whitening is effective, it is important to remember that it is not permanent, so you will have to take care to maintain the results. If you have any questions regarding teeth whitening, and what your options are, call Frank Hsu, D.D.S. at 650.262.1940 today.