Teeth Whitening

Are you unhappy with the color of your teeth? Have they lost their shine or become yellow over time? When it comes to tooth discoloration, there are a number of contributing factors to consider. Tooth staining culprits can include one or more of the following:

  • Dark foods and drinks (berries, coffee, red wine)
  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Medication side effect
  • Natural aging process
  • Overexposure to fluoride during childhood

Tooth discoloration can generally be broken down into two categories: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining. Why does it matter? The type of discoloration you have will determine the best and most effective method of treatment. With the help of a talented dentist and the advancements of modern cosmetic dentistry, discolored teeth can be corrected!



Extrinsic Tooth Stains: When the tooth is only stained on the outside or the enamel layer, it is considered an extrinsic discoloration. This type of staining is typically from consuming certain foods or drinks or tobacco use. It often happens gradually over a period of time. Extrinsic staining can be treated more affordably than intrinsic staining.

Intrinsic Tooth Stains: Intrinsic discoloration involves the underlying layer of the tooth, or the dentin. This can develop after a tooth trauma or from taking certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics. The natural aging process can also contribute to intrinsic staining. As we get older, our tooth enamel wears thin and reveals more of the inner dentin of the tooth, which happens to be more yellow than white.



Zoom Teeth Whitening


Professional teeth whitening methods performed by a dentist produce the fastest and most dramatic results. Professional teeth whitening methods can make your teeth over eight shades lighter. The newest methods can be completed in just over one hour. Other methods require a series of short office visits.

Your dentist will place a protective covering over your lips and gums before applying whitening gel to your teeth. The special gel contains hydrogen peroxide. A lamp is focused on your teeth to activate the hydrogen peroxide. The light helps the hydrogen peroxide penetrate your teeth and break up stains and discoloration. In some cases, a laser may be used.



Can I Drink Coffee and Red Wine after Teeth Whitening?

you should avoid drinking red wine and coffee, Tea for at least a couple of days after professional teeth whitening. The tooth whitening process temporarily makes the teeth more susceptible to stains, so it is best to avoid stain-causing foods and drinks for at least two days.

After two days, you can resume drinking these beverages. But it is important to note that coffee and wine contain tannins, which, unfortunately, cause stains. The effects of consuming tannins are cumulative, meaning that long-term use can lead to the accumulation of discoloration on the surface of your enamel.



As a dentist in Arlington Heights, teeth whitening is one of our most popular procedures. Contact our dental office with any questions you have about your teeth, cosmetic dentistry, oral hygiene or dental teeth whitening.

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