San Francisco smiles sparkle with professional teeth whitening products
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry service available today. It is estimated that Americans spend about two billion dollars each year on teeth whitening services and products. Dr. Leo Arellano and his dental team are responsible for many dazzling San Francisco smiles.
The source of the stains
Tooth enamel consists of microscopic, rod like, hydroxyapatite crystals, and although the surfaces of the teeth may seem very smooth, they are actually porous. Over time, staining particles from food and beverages sink into the pores of the enamel, staining the teeth.
Some of the most common contributors to tooth discoloration are richly colored substances such as pasta sauce, red wine, berries, tea, coffee, and items containing artificial coloring. Tobacco use, whether it is cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco, can cause yellow or brown stains.
Removing the stains
Both in-office and take-home teeth whitening treatments use a peroxide based gel to brighten the smile. The oxidizing agent in either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide penetrates the porous enamel and breaks down the staining molecules in the teeth.
- In-office whitening – This method can brighten the enamel several shades in just one appointment. The lips and soft tissues are protected from exposure to the whitening gel. The solution is applied to the teeth, allowed to work a few minutes, and then removed. This process is typically completed three times. An activating light may be used, depending on the type of solution. In about an hour, the patient leaves the office with a sparkling smile. This option is especially popular with those who need to see results quickly to look their best for a big event.
- Take-home whitening – For this option, customized trays are made based on impressions of the teeth. The patients are given the trays, whitening gel, and detailed instructions for their use at home. Patients wear the gel-filled trays for a specified length of time each day until the desired results are achieved. Although this process is slower than in-office whitening, it can achieve the same outcome. The trays can be used periodically to maintain the results when stains begin to reappear on the teeth. This option is generally more economical than the in-office treatment.
Maintaining that bright smile
Effective oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and prompt brushing after consuming stain causing foods and beverages will help keep the smile bright. Call 415-881-4343, or stop by our office, conveniently located at 3030 Geary Blvd. San Francisco, CA to schedule an appointment today.