Sometimes, brighter, whiter teeth are all you need to bring out the best in your smile. Whiter teeth can rejuvenate the appearance of the teeth and improve your smile. A bright, healthy smile can certainly boost your self-image and self-confidence.

Foods, drinks, and natural aging can cause the teeth to appear stained or discolored. Regular exposure to coffee, tea, soda, and red wine can contribute to stained teeth. Certain medications and prescription mouth rinses can also stain the teeth. When diligent homecare practices, like brushing and flossing, fail to improve the shade of the teeth, your cosmetic dentist may recommend teeth whitening.

Professional teeth whitening is a well-recognized procedure in cosmetic dentistry. A form of peroxide, typically hydrogen peroxide, has been safely used for decades to treat the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. The peroxide solution is also an active ingredient in professional whitening products. During the whitening process, the peroxide solution breaks down, allowing oxygen to enter the tooth. This bleaches discolored areas, but does not damage or change the structure of the enamel.

The teeth whitening procedures are effective on most discolored teeth. Although whitening is safe, and a variety of whitening products are available on-line and in drugstores, the degree of whiteness will vary from patient to patient. Deeply stained teeth, like those caused by antibiotics, are more difficult to whiten. Dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, bonding, and veneers will not respond to whitening solutions. Occasionally, minor tooth sensitivity can occur during the whitening process. For the previously discussed reasons, it is best to consult your cosmetic dentist to ensure the best possible outcome.

After your whitening procedure, you can keep your smile looking great by following simple homecare instructions. Brush after consuming potentially staining foods and beverages, floss daily, and use the toothpaste product recommended by your dentist. Occasionally, it is safe to “touch up” your white smile by repeating the whitening procedure.

Dr. John M. Hucklebridge, a whitening dentist in Plano, can help you take your first steps toward looking good and feeling great. You’ll make a more memorable impression every time you smile. You deserve it!