Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. A bright, healthy smile makes you look and feel great, but stained or yellow teeth can give your confidence a real knock. If you’re tired of covering your mouth, hiding your smile, or avoiding photos because of your teeth, then read on to find out what causes tooth staining and what you can do about it.
Why are my teeth stained?
There are two types of tooth discoloration — intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic discoloration occurs when the inner structure of the tooth, or the dentin, darkens or yellows. Age, tooth trauma, fluoride overuse, and antibiotics can contribute to intrinsic discoloration. It will be more visible if your tooth enamel is thin, which happens naturally with age and can be worsened by acid erosion.
Extrinsic discoloration is when the enamel on the outside of your tooth becomes stained and takes on a yellowish or brownish appearance. Common causes of extrinsic tooth staining are smoking, poor dental hygiene, and certain foods and drinks, such as:
- Red wine
- Tea and coffee
- Cola and dark juices
- Berries, tomatoes, and beetroot
- Curry and spices
- Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce
Even if you brush well and pass on that morning coffee, you might find that stubborn stains and discoloration are impossible to remove. Teeth whitening treatment is the perfect solution, helping you to achieve a bright, healthy smile without giving up your favorite foods and drinks.
Can I whiten my teeth at home?
Drugstore shelves are lined with home tooth whitening kits and strips, promising you maximum brightness with minimal effort. However, we strongly advise our patients against these treatments. While some of them do indeed give you a whiter smile, it comes at the expense of your dental health.
To get those quick results, home tooth whitening kits often use harsh chemicals like chlorine dioxide, an acid otherwise found in pool cleaners. These chemicals can erode your tooth enamel, shrink your gums, cause chemical burns, expose you to mouth infections, damage your stomach, and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Home whitening kits are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, so there’s really no way to be sure whether or not they contain these harmful chemicals. Given the potential dangers to your health, it’s just not worth the risk. Instead, we recommend much safer in-office procedures like Zoom Teeth Whitening.
What is Zoom Teeth Whitening and how does it work?
Zoom is a tooth whitening treatment that safely targets both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. It involves applying clinical-strength hydrogen peroxide gel to the teeth, and then using a light system called the Advanced Power Chairside Lamp to accelerate the bleaching process.
The lamp breaks down the hydrogen peroxide gel to release oxygen, which acts as a powerful stain remover. It lifts stubborn stains from the tooth enamel and penetrates deep into the teeth to bleach the dentin within. Unlike harsh home whitening kits, the treatment achieves this while leaving the structure and integrity of the teeth intact.
What does a Zoom Teeth Whitening treatment involve?
We’re incredibly enthusiastic about the Zoom treatment and the results it can offer. However, our first priority is to make sure it’s the right fit for you. That’s why, before you sign up for Zoom, we conduct an in-depth consultation to assess your dental health, your treatment goals, and the results you can realistically achieve.
If you have dental disease, injury, or extreme sensitivity, then we would likely advise against any whitening treatment, including Zoom. If you have crowns, veneers, or composite bonds, these will not respond to treatment and can leave you with mismatched teeth. However, we will always take these factors into account at your consultation and advise you on the best course of action for your individual needs.
If you haven’t had a dental cleaning for a while, we might advise you to get a full cleaning before your appointment. This will lift any surface stains and can drastically improve the results of your Zoom treatment.
- Before your appointment
About an hour before your appointment, we’ll advise you to brush your teeth thoroughly with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste and rinse your mouth with water. You might experience small ‘zinging’ sensations during your treatment; while these are not painful, you might want to take an Ibuprofen beforehand if you think they will cause you discomfort.
- Preparing your mouth
We use a strong hydrogen peroxide mix, so it’s important to protect your mouth. We start by using a cheek retractor, which sounds a little intimidating but is simply a piece of plastic or perspex we place in your mouth to keep your lips and inner cheeks from touching your teeth. We then paint a special protective substance onto your gums.
- Applying the gel
Next, we’ll apply the hydrogen peroxide gel to the front surfaces of your teeth and position the lamp in front of your mouth. We’ll keep the gel and lamp in place for 15 minutes, during which time you can listen to music, read, or just relax.
- Repeating the treatment
A full treatment session consists of three or four of these 15-minute blocks. After each block, we’ll remove the gel, check your progress, and give you a quick rest. We’ll repeat the process for the next block, adjusting the gel or lighting if necessary.
- After your treatment
When you’re finished, we’ll clear off the gel and rinse out your mouth. We’ll give you detailed after-care instructions to help maintain your results, and we’ll provide you with a home touch-up kit and custom whitening trays. Your teeth will be a little more vulnerable to staining for the 48 hours afterwards, so we’ll also give you a list of food and drinks to avoid during that time.
With so many other tooth whitening treatments available, why should you choose Zoom? Good question!
Zoom whitens your teeth with just one chemical — hydrogen peroxide. Unlike home kits, you know exactly what’s being used on your teeth, you can be confident it’s fully approved for safe use, and you can rest assured knowing you’re in professional hands the entire time.
Our patients are consistently thrilled and impressed with the results of their Zoom treatment. While most whitening treatments are no match for heavier staining, Zoom has been shown to be effective against even the most stubborn discoloration.
Most whitening treatments make you choose between speed or results. Zoom offers both, with a full session taking just one hour and fitting into even the busiest schedules. You’ll see the results instantly, and they’ll last for much longer than traditional whitening treatments.
The quickest, safest way to a truly dazzling smile
If you’re ready to uncover your brightest, whitest, healthiest smile, we’re ready to help. Contact Mountain Peak Dentistry now on (303) 988-7800 to arrange your Zoom Teeth Whitening consultation.
Mountain Peak Dentistry is led by Dr. Brennan Bonati. A native Coloradan, Dr. Bonati qualified at the Colorado School of Dental Medicine and set about providing the highest standard of dental care to the people of Lakewood. Today, he’s thrilled to spend his days helping people to transform their smiles, and he’s proud to lead a team that truly puts the patient above all else.