Illuminate Your Smile with Teeth Whitening
Jacksonville teeth whitening dentist Dr. Lysandro Tapnio offers take-home teeth whitening to enhance your smile and self-esteem. This simple treatment is quick and involves minimal discomfort. At the same time, it can truly rejuvenate you smile. Contact Dr. Tapnio today to learn more about teeth whitening and to find out if it is a good option for you.
What Causes Dental Stains?
Like most patients, you probably struggle with stains that are the result of dietary habits. If you regularly drink red wine, coffee, or tea, you are more likely to have dental discoloration. Similarly, tomato sauce, berries, soy sauce, and other dark-colored foods can stain your teeth. These things contain heavily pigmented molecules called chromogens. The molecules will cling to your dental enamel. Even a professional dental cleaning will not erase the yellowish or brownish hue from your smile.
Smoking is another major cause of tooth discoloration. Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain tar and nicotine. As you drag the smoke across your teeth, molecules in these dark substances will attach to your dental enamel. (Smoking has additional consequences, as it can raise your risk for gum disease and oral cancer.)
Food, drink, and tobacco will leave stains on the outside of your teeth. In some cases, however, you could develop stains inside your teeth. For example, if you took medications containing tetracycline as a child, you may have intrinsic discoloration. Dark-colored internal stains could also appear if you have an infected tooth or a metal filling that has started to show through.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Teeth whitening uses peroxide-based gel to radically lighten dental stains. Dr. Tapnio will take impressions of your teeth, and he will use them to craft custom whitening trays. Made from smooth plastic, the trays will be very comfortable, and they will fit securely around your teeth. You should fill the trays with your dentist-provided whitening gel, wearing them for about 30 minutes a day. You could also opt for overnight whitening to fit your busy schedule. While the trays remain on your teeth, oxygen molecules in the gel will penetrate your dental enamel, breaking apart the bonds between stains. In most cases, the entire whitening process will take about two weeks, although it could take longer if you have more severe discoloration. When the treatment is complete, your teeth could be several shades lighter.
Though take-home trays are the most popular option, we can also provide in-office teeth whitening or whitening strips. As with the trays, the gel on the strips will break apart stains. These strips are more effective than store-bought products. However, the results will not be as dramatic as the effects of the whitening trays. Nevertheless, if you are on a budget, these professionally provided strips can be a great option for your smile.
Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?
If you have minor to moderate extrinsic stains, teeth whitening can be a good solution. Unfortunately, neither trays nor strips can reduce intrinsic stains. To eliminate this discoloration, you may want to consider porcelain veneers or LUMINEERS®, which will form a new façade for your teeth. At your consultation, Dr. Tapnio can explain more about these treatments and help you decide if they may be appropriate solutions.
To qualify for any cosmetic treatment, you should have overall good dental health. If you currently have gum disease or decay, Dr. Tapnio will recommend periodontal treatment or restorative care. After the necessary procedures, whitening can be a great way to enhance your smile. Dental sensitivity is another concern. Our whitening gel is non-abrasive, and our carefully designed trays will keep the gel away from your gum tissue. Therefore, in most cases, you will be able to tolerate teeth whitening even if you have sensitive teeth or gums.
Preventing Recurring Stains
Though teeth whitening can greatly improve your smile, you must maintain proper care to prevent stains from returning. Regular dental hygiene is one of the most effective ways to protect your smile. Daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits will keep stains at bay. You may want to change your dietary habits, as well. For a sparkling grin, quit smoking and enjoy stain-producing foods in moderation. Finally, you can perform routine touch-ups at home using your trays and whitening gel. You should never perform whitening without Dr. Tapnio’s recommendation, as this can damage your dental enamel. However, when you follow your dentist’s instructions, whitening is safe with few side effects.
Contact Us for a Cosmetic Consultation
To learn more about whitening and whether it is right for you, contact Dr. Tapnio’s office today.