Start the Year Off with a Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

Start the Year Off with a Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

Nothing starts the new year off right like a bright white smile. If your smile is less than you’d like it to be, a professional teeth whitening treatment is just the thing to turn it around.

Here at Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Leesburg, Virginia, Dr. Haidy MessihDr. Basma Armanious, and our team offer in-office teeth whitening with the amazing GLO™ Professional Dental system. You can get results up to 12 shades brighter in under an hour. Below, we offer some answers to common questions about tooth discoloration and professional teeth whitening treatment.

Why are my teeth discolored?

Normal, healthy teeth are white or yellowish-white; according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, anything else is abnormal. However, most of us end up with stains and other discoloration due to a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

Your teeth above the gum line are covered in a hard enamel shell. Extrinsic factors affect this shell, which stains quite easily despite its hardness. The most common reason for extrinsic discoloration is what you put in your mouth. Drinks like tea, coffee, dark sodas, and red wine; fruits like cherries, blueberries, pomegranates, and beets; and any type of tobacco all conspire to make your teeth dark and dingy.

Then there are acidic foods and drinks like bubbly beverages and citrus fruits that promote staining by etching away the enamel. Without the hard shell, pigments can stick more easily to the soft inner tissues.

Fortunately, most extrinsic stains can be removed by the teeth whitening process.

Intrinsic factors affect the inner tooth structure, most notably the dentin, and these stains are harder to remove than the extrinsic type. The biggest reason for intrinsic discoloration is aging. As you get older, the enamel shell thins and the yellow dentin underneath gives your teeth a dull yellow color.

Other contributing factors are medications that cause tooth yellowing, such as certain antibiotics, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?

Generally, if your teeth are stained or otherwise discolored, that makes you a good candidate for teeth whitening. But whether you choose to go with an in-office procedure or an at-home treatment depends on your oral health, lifestyle, and personal preferences. You can discuss your options with your dentist during your consultation.

Some causes of discoloration, like that caused by trauma or medication, aren’t correctable with topical whitening procedures. If you fall into this category, we may recommend other cosmetic procedures to brighten your smile, such as veneers, bonding, or crowns.

In addition, if you’re dealing with problems like tooth decay, tooth damage, or gum disease, we first need to address these to ensure your oral health is the best it can be before you start whitening.

What is GLO professional teeth whitening like?

At Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we exclusively trust the GLO professional system to whiten and brighten.

When you come in for your appointment, you sit back in a comfortable, reclining dental chair. We first apply GLO whitening gel to your teeth, while making sure your lips and gums are protected — they can become irritated if exposed to the bleaching agent. Then, we train a special LED light on the gel, which activates it and speeds up the whitening process. 

If you’d rather whiten your teeth on your own, we can provide you with a GLO at-home whitening kit. It takes a bit longer to whiten your teeth as brightly as an in-office procedure, but you’ll still see excellent results.

Once your teeth are nice and white, it’s important that you adopt some teeth-friendly habits to keep them that way.

A top tip to protect your enamel is to encourage saliva production, since saliva washes away food and plaque before they can produce a stain. Two great ways to do this are to drink plenty of water and to chew sugarless gum. Also good: crunchy fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, which dilutes acids, and eating cheese, which contains minerals that strengthen teeth.

In addition, make sure you keep up with your twice-yearly professional dental cleanings to ensure your overall oral health remains good.

Want to start off the year with a bright white bang? Then come into Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for a professional teeth whitening treatment. Give us a call at 703-952-7332, or book online with one of our dentists today.

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