Viewing entries tagged
tooth whitening

Dental Questions: Will my teeth be whiter after a dental cleaning?

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Dental Questions: Will my teeth be whiter after a dental cleaning?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Have you ever had your teeth cleaned only to see no noticeable difference in their appearance? Your mouth may feel cleaner, but the shade of your dental enamel probably didn't change too much. Read on to find out why this is the case, and what a routine cleaning actually achieves!

For the majority of the population, yellow and discolored teeth are caused by something called intrinsic staining. Here, the teeth pick up pigment in the dentin layer beneath the outer enamel. No amount of brushing, scrubbing or abrasive products will remove these compounds. A smaller portion of the population will be effected by extrinsic staining. This occurs when a combination of deeply colored foods, plaque and tartar discolor the surface of the teeth. This staining most commonly effects smokers, heavy coffee drinkers and those with deficiencies in their daily oral care. Because this staining only involves the outermost layer of the teeth, brushing and flossing will have some control over its presence.

As you can probably see, dental cleanings will have little to no affect on intrinsic staining. To take care of dentin layer staining, you will need to use a specific bleaching system like white strips, bleach trays or ZOOM whitening. However, extrinsic staining will be readily addressed by a routine "prophy" cleaning. Since these stains are adhered to the surface of the teeth, mechanical polishing and scaling will eliminate them with ease. 

Your routine cleaning serves three general purposes: to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, allow a dental professional to asses changes in your oral health, and provide feedback on your home care between visits. The combined goal of these objectives is to protect the teeth from periodontal disease and the progression of tooth decay. Any improvements in the cosmetic appearance of the teeth after a cleaning is a celebrated secondary benefit. If you would like to know more about dental cleanings, dental staining or whitening, please give our office a call!

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Is bleaching safe for your teeth?

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Is bleaching safe for your teeth?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Every year, millions of patients worldwide bleach their teeth using various products. Whether prescribed by a dentist or purchased over-the-counter, almost every effective whitening method utilizes some type of peroxide gel. When used correctly, they are all safe and effective ways to lighten the color of your teeth. Read on to catch the full story!

Peroxides (hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, etc.) whiten teeth by breaking down the pigmented compounds in the tooth's dentin layer (between the enamel and pulp). To reach this space, these products rely on opening up small gaps in the dentin called microtubules. This can cause a temporary sensitivity to air and cold liquids. However, the tubules quickly re-mineralize and close in a matter of hours. For cases of extreme sensitivity, we may recommend extra fluoride applications to dull the ache. 

Research shows that whitening causes no long term negative effects on teeth. However, prescription strength whitening procedures (zoom whitening or custom bleach trays) have the potential to irritate or discolor the gum tissue. This is why it is important to follow the dentist's directions carefully. It is also important to note that over whitening can cause the teeth to have a blue tint that many patients find undesirable. 

When performed correctly, whitening is an easy and convenient way to improve the cosmetics of your smile. If you would like to discuss your tooth whitening options, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: ZOOM Whitening

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Case Presentation: ZOOM Whitening

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Take a look at the dramatic change we achieved in this patient using the ZOOM Whitening products. Can you believe this transformation only took a single office visit?

At a typical ZOOM appointment, we start by quickly polishing the teeth to remove any surface staining. Then, a special material is applied to the gums surrounding the teeth to protect them from the bleaching gel. The actual "bleach" is a special formulation of peroxide that is activated using the ZOOM light. The entire session takes about an hour and a half where you can relax, listen to Pandora music, watch cable TV or catch up on your favorite Netflix series! If you would like to know more about your bleaching options or to schedule a ZOOM appointment for yourself, please call or email our office.

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