brighten your smile

Teeth whitening in woodstock, ga

Brushing and flossing are regular ways to keep your teeth bright, white and in good shape. Still, if you might feel your smile is lacking some sparkle or is more yellow than it used to be, you’re not alone. When the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they ‘d most like to boost about their smile, the most common answer was whiter teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists also found that nearly 90% of patients desired tooth whitening.

Considering teeth whitening? Get the facts first. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions about the procedure.

Why Did My Teeth Change Color?

Over time, your teeth can go from white to not-so-bright for a lot of reasons:

Food and Drink

Coffee, tea and red wine are some major staining culprits. What do they share? Strong color pigments called chromogens that attach to the white, outer area of your tooth (enamel).

Tobacco Use

Two chemicals found in tobacco create persistent stains: Tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark. Nicotine is colorless until it’s mixed with oxygen. Then, it develops into a yellowish or golden-tinged, surface-staining substance.


Below the hard, white outer shell of your teeth (enamel) is a softer area called dentin. Over time, the outer enamel layer gets thinner with brushing and more of the yellowish dentin shows through.


If you’ve been hit in the mouth, your tooth may change color because it reacts to an injury by laying down more dentin, which is a darker layer under the enamel.


Tooth darkening can be a reaction of certain antihistamines, antipsychotics and hypertension medications. Children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline when their teeth are forming (either in the womb or as a baby) may have discoloration of their adult teeth later in life. Chemotherapy and head and neck radiation can also dye teeth.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller sized pieces, which makes the color less strong and your teeth brighter.

Does Whitening Work on All Teeth?

No, which is why it is very important to talk to your dentist before deciding to whiten your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all kinds of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond as well and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all. Whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns or fillings. It also won’t be effective if your tooth discoloration is caused by medications or a tooth injury.

What Are My Whitening Options?

Speak with your dentist before starting. If you are a candidate, there are four ways to put the shine back in your smile:

Stain Removal Toothpastes

All toothpastes help eliminate surface stain through the motion of mild abrasives that scrub the teeth. Look out for whitening toothpastes that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for stain removal (it will tell you on the package). These toothpastes have added polishing agents that are safe for your teeth and provide stain removal success. Unlike bleaches, these varieties of ADA-Accepted products do not alter the color of teeth because they can only remove stains on the surface.

In-Office Bleaching

This procedure is called chairside bleaching and commonly requires only one office visit. The dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber guard to protect your gums. Bleach is then applied to the teeth.

At-Home Bleaching from Your Dentist

Your dentist can provide you with a personalized tray for at-home whitening. In this case, the dentist will give you instructions on how to place the bleaching solution in the tray and for what span of time. This may be a preferable option if you feel more comfortable whitening in your own home at a slower pace, but still with the guidance of a dentist. Out-of-office bleaching can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products

You may see different options online or in your local supermarket, such as toothpastes or strips that whiten by bleaching your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent in these products is lower than what your dentist would use in the office. If you are contemplating using an otc bleaching kit, talk about options with your dentist and look out for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means it has been tested to be harmless and effective for teeth whitening. Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products.

Are There Any Negative Side Effects from Teeth Whitening?

Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. That happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and disturbs the nerve of your tooth. In most cases the sensitivity is short-term. You can delay treatment, then try again.

Excessive use of whiteners can also damage the tooth enamel or gums, so be sure to follow directions and speak to your dentist.

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