What is Teeth Whitening?

When you’re diligent about your oral hygiene and visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you can prevent many of the common dental issues that can threaten your smile. However, even when you brush and floss every day, your teeth can still develop stains and lose their brilliant shine over time.

Professional teeth whitening is the process of erasing surface stains on your teeth and brightening their structure to restore your smile’s youthful glow. Because stains and discoloration can affect nearly anyone’s smile, teeth whitening is one of our most popular cosmetic dental treatments.

Why are my teeth stained?

Teeth can stain for several reasons, including years of exposure to dark pigmented foods and beverages. The most common types of teeth stains are extrinsic, meaning they occur on the surfaces of your teeth. However, some patients may exhibit intrinsic discoloration, meaning the tooth is discolored underneath its semi-translucent enamel.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening involves applying professional-strength bleaching gel to the surfaces of your teeth. The bleaching agent chemically breaks up the stains on your tooth enamel, and oxidizes the main structure underneath the enamel for a more vibrant glow.

Depending on your needs and preferences, Dr. Petto Messina may recommend a take-home teeth whitening kit that allows you to brighten your teeth at home, or an in-office treatment that can be performed during one visit, usually in as little as an hour.