Teeth lose their brilliance over time due to the wearing of enamel and discoloration from tobacco, coffee, tea, wine, colas, berries, sauces and candies. To reduce the likelihood of staining, you can drink through a straw, swish with water or chew sugarless gum after eating and drinking, and brush 30 minutes after consumption. If your teeth are already more yellow than you’d like, there are plenty of options for teeth whitening on Long Island.
Sure, there are over-the-counter kits you can buy, but dentists warn that these products have not been vetted by the FDA, since they are deemed “cosmetic” and they may actually damage the tooth structure. Also, there is no way to match the whitened shade to existing crowns, bridges, veneers or fillings with the generic kits and there are no guarantees the kits will work on your particular stains.
The most powerful teeth whitening procedure involves a combination of in-office whitening followed by the use of custom trays for several months.
The Zoom in-office whitening treatment takes less than an hour. First, a regular teeth cleaning is done. Next, hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied, and the Zoom laser light is activated for 15 minutes to penetrate the teeth and break up stains. After three 15-minute sessions, the treatment is done and a sensitivity-reducing fluoride paste-gel is applied to the teeth.
Custom home whitening trays use either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth. Patients are instructed to wear the tray for two to four hours, over the course of two weeks. Strengths range from 15 to 35 percent for carbamide peroxide and 6 to 15 percent for hydrogen peroxide. The strength dictates how fast the teeth whiten, but also how sensitive your mouth will feel afterwards. In the end, the results are the same, so it really just depends upon your personal comfort level.
Opalescence is a product that can be used in-office and at-home by prescription from your cosmetic dentist. Dr. Elliott and Dr. Nick have seen great results using the Opalescence product along with the Zoom laser in-office. Opalescence teeth-whitening gel comes in four different concentrations and three flavors (mint, melon and regular). The gel contains carbamide peroxide to lift stains, potassium nitrate to reduce sensitivity, and fluoride to reduce cavities and strengthen enamel.
The benefit of Opalescence is that it improves the overall health of your teeth, in addition to whitening them.
Dental bleaching is much like tanning. Just as some skin darkens easier than others, some teeth whiten quicker than others. A one-on-one consultation with dental professionals like Dr. Elliott and Dr. Nick helps you determine which course of action will work best — given your unique anatomy, stain level, and sensitivity. Call (631) 319-7891 to arrange an appointment at our Suffolk County cosmetic dentistry office.
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