Your teeth are one of the first things that people notice about you when you smile. Moreover, they can say a lot about you. When they are discolored, they can send the wrong message. Dull, discolored enamel can add years to your appearance, and give the impression that you don’t take care of yourself. Discoloration can lead to self-consciousness, and hiding your smile. At National Dental Williston Park, we can give you back your bright white smile with Zoom! whitening.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
While you cannot tell by looking at them, your teeth consist of two layers. The exterior layer, called the enamel, is hard and very mineralized. It is also bright white. The inner layer of your teeth, or dentin layer, is naturally darker. Over time, the enamel layer of your teeth begins to break down, leading to very small microfractures in the surface. These microfractures make it easier for your teeth to collect stains, pigments and other debris that dull the color of your teeth. There are several factors that can contribute to this discoloration:
- The things you eat and drink. Certain foods and beverages (coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries, curry) all contain dark pigments. These pigments tend to linger and adhere to your teeth.
- Smoking (and other tobacco products). Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals. Tar and nicotine are directly responsible for discoloring your teeth.
- Medication. Certain allergy, asthma, and blood pressure medications can cause staining, as can medications like tetracycline and doxycycline.
Zoom! In Office
At National Dental, we offer Zoom! whitening. Zoom! is a procedure that whitens not only your enamel but the dentin as well. This is possible thanks to the bleaching agent, which contains hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide is light activated. When exposed to light, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down. It then enters the enamel and the dentin, grabbing hold of stains and bleaching them away.
Zoom! whitening is available in two types of treatments. The first is our in-office procedure. Zoom! in-office whitening is simple, and takes about an hour to complete. Before we start your treatment, however, we first clean your teeth. Next, a special gel is placed on your gums, which will protect the sensitive tissue from the bleaching agent. The bleaching agent is applied to your teeth, and we expose them to the light source. In an hour, your teeth are noticeably whiter. In most cases, Zoom! in-office whitening can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades.
Zoom! Take-Home Trays
Our other Zoom! whitening product is Zoom! take-home trays. With whitening trays, you can whiten your teeth on your own time. We provide you with custom fit trays (which are created from molds of your mouth) as well as the bleaching agent. For the best results, the trays should be worn for 4 to 8 hours each day. We will help to determine how many days your treatment should last, based on your specific needs. Results will begin to become noticeable in about three days. When treatment is complete, your teeth will be up to 6 shades whiter.
How Do I Maintain My Results?
While whitening is effective, it is not permanent. There are things you can do, however, to make the results last longer:
- Avoid, or at least limit, foods and drinks that cause stains.
- Drink plenty of water, especially following foods and beverages that can stain.
- Drink through a straw (this will help liquids to bypass the teeth).
- Quit smoking (and other tobacco products).
- Brush and floss your teeth daily, and maintain regular dental cleanings and exams.
If tooth discoloration has you hiding your smile, call National Dental Williston Park at (516) 686-9780 and find out how Zoom! whitening can help.