Your dentist in Indianapolis answers questions about teeth whitening

My teeth are not as bright as they used to be. Why?

Our teeth are covered in a protective layer of enamel. This strong substance contains pores, tiny holes like what you see on your skin. The foods that we eat, beverages we drink, and lifestyle habits we keep all play a role in how bright our teeth remain.

Doesn't my “whitening” toothpaste remove stains?

Almost every toothpaste-packaging label contains the word “whitening” these days. This is an accurate statement, according to the FDA, whose guidelines state that if a product cleans debris from teeth, it has whitening power. Brushing with a whitening toothpaste essentially polishes the teeth, which may slow the progress of discoloration, but will not stop it completely.

What about whitening strips?

Commercial whitening strips are easy to find, and seem like a very affordable way to brighten the smile. There are limitations to what can be accomplished with these products, however, and real problems with design. Most whitening strips have a straight edge. Our teeth, however, are curved. Many people who have noticed a difference in the color of their teeth also notice a distinct line where the edge of the strip stopped. On the contrary, strips that are pushed up too far in order to cover the entire tooth surface leave whitening agent on gum tissue, which then becomes irritated.

Are you just trying to sell me on professional whitening?

Dentists offer a variety of services intended to promote healthy, beautiful smiles. Teeth whitening was first developed many years ago, for use in dental offices. The products that are used by your dentist have evolved to be more effective than ever. Different from whitening toothpastes, professional teeth bleaching actually has the capability to lighten teeth beyond their natural shade of white. Different from whitening strips, professional bleaching contains agents than promote the lifting of stains, and decrease the sensitivity that may occur throughout treatment.

Many of our patients who undergo teeth whitening have tried commercial products with no success. While we do not promote this path, we actually like it when patients come to us after a failed whitening attempt, because they have a clear understanding of the benefits of professional treatment.

What type of teeth whitening do you offer?

Washington Street Dentistry offers both in-office teeth whitening and a convenient at-home whitening treatment.

Zoom! teeth whitening has been successfully transforming smiles for many years. One of the original in-office treatments, Zoom! is effective through the precise process we use. First, we place a protective sheet on the gums and lips. Then, whitening solution is painted onto the teeth, and cured with a special light. Depending on the degree of whitening we are seeking, this process may be repeated several times. In about an hour, your smile can go from dull to dazzling.

At-home teeth whitening kits are used around the world, allowing people to enhance their smiles conveniently over the course of a few weeks. Whitening teeth at home is easy and effective. We create custom fitted whitening trays using impressions taken in our office. These trays keep the whitening solution on teeth where it can be most effective and away from gums, where it could cause irritation.

If you're ready to see real, lasting results from teeth whitening, contact your dentist in Indianapolis for your professional whitening treatment.
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