Tooth discoloration can occur for different reasons. Tobacco use is a common cause of yellow and brown stains on teeth, and foods and beverages like coffee, tea, red wine and dark berries can also cause staining, as can natural and artificial colorings and some spices. Poor oral hygiene can exacerbate discoloration, and foods and drinks with high acid content can temporarily soften tooth enamel so stains can penetrate more easily. These more superficial stains can be corrected with teeth whitening procedures, either in the office or using take-home kits. Some types of discoloration can occur on the interior of the tooth as a result of damage to the tooth structure or from chronic diseases or long-term use of certain types of medicines. These types of stains need to be treated with veneers or crowns.
Texas Dental offers two types of teeth whitening: in-office one-hour whitening treatments and take-home kits that can take a few weeks to achieve optimal results. In our in-office treatment, a special guard is used to hold the lips back from the teeth so the gel isn’t washed away. The teeth-whitening gel is applied to the tooth surfaces and a light is used to activate the gel so it penetrates consistently. The gel may be reapplied several times during the one-hour treatment. In take-home whitening, the patient is provided with a custom-fit whitening tray that holds the whitening gel against the teeth during treatment. With the take-home trays, the patient can control the level of whitening by how frequently they use the trays.
Our take-home kits use custom-fit trays that are designed to mold to the contours and curves of your teeth so they fit more closely to the surfaces of the teeth, helping the gel to remain in place so it can penetrate more deeply and more consistently. The custom trays are reusable, so they can be used for future treatments as well. Over-the-counter bleaching kits use disposable one-size-fits-all trays that can allow the gel to leak out and irritate the gums. Plus, the results they offer are not as dramatic or as consistent.
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