Park Place Dentistry in Irvine offers teeth whitening services for its patients. While teeth whitening can correct stains and discoloration caused by a variety of sources, the process may not be beneficial or safe for everyone.

How Do My Teeth Become Discolored?

Your teeth may become stained from tobacco use, certain medications, or the use of too much fluoride. Certain beverages such as coffee, soda, wine, tea, and foods like dark colored berries and those that use food colorings can also cause your teeth to become less white over time. Additionally, your teeth may become discolored over time due to age or simply due to improper oral hygiene.

How Does Whitening Work?

Your dentist might choose to give you a teeth whitening treatment in the office or take a kit home that you can use. Each has a different strength of the chemical agent, or active ingredient, which is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The treatment is applied to your teeth for a predetermined amount of time, while the active ingredient works to break down the stain. Your dentist might have you complete a professional cleaning first, and will help give you realistic expectations about the degree of whitening you will experience. You may also receive a recommendation for whitening toothpaste to use daily.

Should I Get My Teeth Whitened?

Teeth whitening is most effective if you have healthy teeth and gums, and the whitening process will work best if your teeth have stains that are a shade of yellow, rather than brown or black. The whitening process is typically not recommended for children, and you should talk to your dentist first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If your teeth are particularly sensitive, or if you are allergic to the ingredients in the whitening product, you might not be a candidate.

If you have gum disease, exposed tooth roots, or unfilled cavities, your dentist can help you determine the best way to experience a whiter smile. If you have tooth-colored fillings, caps, or crowns on your front teeth, whitening your natural teeth can result in an uneven color. Additionally, if you are a smoker, your results of a teeth whitening procedure may be only temporary unless you stop using tobacco.