In spring, everything seems to blossom — why not your smile? If off-color or discolored teeth make you want to hide your smile, brighten it with a teeth whitening appointment.
Teeth whitening is big business in the United States, with people of both sexes and all ages going for the gleam. According to Healthline, in 2015, Americans spent more than $11 billion on at-home teeth whitening products and in-office treatments.
At Riverdale Dental Arts in the Bronx, New York, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and his staff are proud to offer the Phillips Zoom® Teeth Whitening System for those patients interested in brightening their smiles. Here’s what it can do for you.
Why your teeth are dull and discolored
According to the US National Library of Medicine, any tooth color that isn’t white or yellowish-white is “abnormal.” Tooth discoloration can come from either extrinsic or intrinsic factors.
Extrinsic factors are those that affect the hard enamel surrounding each tooth. Even though it’s hard, enamel is easily stained; however, those stains can most often be bleached out by the tooth whitening process.
The primary cause of extrinsic discoloration comes from lifestyle, including dark drinks like coffee, tea, cola, and red wine; dark fruits like pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and beets; and any type of tobacco product.
Acidic foods and drinks like citrus and carbonated beverages promote staining by etching away the tooth enamel. With the hard shell gone, pigments stick to the inner tissues easily.
Intrinsic factors are those that affect the inner tooth structure, called the dentin. They’re more difficult to remove than extrinsically caused stains. The biggest factor is aging, which turns the teeth a dull yellow color. That’s because as you get older, the outer enamel thins, revealing the yellow-colored dentin beneath. In addition, some medications cause tooth yellowing, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the best ways to protect your enamel is by encouraging saliva production, such as by drinking plenty of water or chewing sugarless gum. Saliva washes away plaque and food particles from surfaces of the teeth before they’re able to produce a stain.
Brightening your smile with Zoom
First, a note about whitening treatments — all are not created equal. While they all purport to contain a peroxide bleaching agent, either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, the OTC kits you get from the drugstore may actually contain little to none. As a result, they can take months before you see even a modest result if any at all. In addition, their gel trays aren’t molded to your mouth, so they won’t fit perfectly and they’ll whiten unevenly as a result.
In contrast, in-office dental whitening systems and professional at-home kits are custom-crafted and effective. In-office products contain gels with 15-43% peroxide, while the at-home kits contain 3-20% peroxide.
At Riverdale Dental Arts, we offer the powerful Zoom in-office teeth whitening system. It can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades in a single 45-minute visit.
When you come in for treatment, you rest comfortably while our expert hygienist Bilijana carefully applies the bleaching solution to your teeth. She also covers your gums and lips to prevent soft-tissue irritation.
Next, she shines a special LED light onto your teeth that does two things: activates the gel and allows it to penetrate the tooth enamel. The entire session takes about 15 minutes, and you can expect to be in our office for about an hour per treatment.
Once she’s through, Bilijana removes the gel and thoroughly rinses out your mouth. Finally, she covers your teeth with a post-treatment gel to reduce any lingering sensitivity. That’s it. Your smile is now as bright and white as a spring day.
If you’d rather do the whitening on your own schedule, we can provide you with a take-home kit, also from Zoom, to use in the comfort of your own home. You’ll see dramatic results from a few days after you start to a couple of weeks later.
No matter whether you choose in-office or at-home tooth whitening now is the best time to brighten your smile for a brighter spring. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Riverdale Dental Arts at 845-479-6927, or book online with us today.