See yourself with a brighter, more beautiful smile with one of our options for teeth whitening at Hoek Esthetic Family Dentistry. From custom trays and bleaching gel, to in-office whitening and even disposable on-the-go trays, our office has the right whitening option for your convenience.
Ask Dr. Hoek how whitening can improve your smile today!
What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening is the process of lightening the teeth from discolorations and staining. Teeth can be lightened primarily in two ways: removing the discolored biofilm layer that has coated the exterior of the tooth surface or penetrating the tooth structure to remove any imbedded stain.
As we put food and drinks into our mouths, a biofilm layer develops on the exterior layer of the teeth. This can result in discoloration.
Teeth can be lightened by removing this accumulation with abrasive agents. Typically whitening toothpastes and other whitening agents that are rubbed onto the tooth surface, work in this manner.
When stain in actually embedded into the tooth structure, a different mechanism must be employed. Enamel, the outer layer of tooth structure is porous, which means that staining agents can work their way into that tooth structure.
Whitening agents use chemicals to penetrate into the enamel and set off a chemical reaction called oxidation, which breaks apart the staining compounds.
Causes of teeth stains
Teeth can become stained over time due to age, tobacco, red wines, coffee and other highly pigmented foods. Dentist teeth whitening treatments work powerfully for teeth that show signs of aging.
Over the years, your teeth may turn yellow, brown, or gray, but you will notice a dramatic difference with one of our whitening treatments. Food discolors teeth, too; especially coffee, tea, wine, and soda; and tobacco is commonly blamed for yellow and brown stains.
Our treatment removes stains, turning your teeth whiter with each treatment and you have the option to touch up your teeth whenever you wish.
Teeth whitening services offered
Hoek Esthetic Family Dentistry, in Virginia Beach, offers multiple options for teeth whitening:
On-the-go bleaching trays
They are lowest in their bleach concentration, so perfect for teens or young adults who may not have much to lighten. They are disposable and intended to be worn over the course of 10 days.
Custom bleaching trays
This entails coming in for impressions that are then sent to a lab to fabricate a custom set of trays that is individualized to each patient. The bleach is a stronger concentration that the disposable type and given in gel tubes. It is inserted throughout the custom tray and worn for an hour over several days, depending on the desired shade. This option allows the trays to be worn whenever the patient feels their brightness may be dulling.
We recommend in-office teeth whitening as the safest, fastest and most effective option for our patients. The dentist will block out the gums with a light-cured barrier, so the bleach is only applied to the teeth. Then, the bleach is applied directly to the teeth. In-office bleaching usually consists of 2-3 cycles of applying the bleach and rinsing it off. Each cycle goes approximately 20 minutes, depending on the patient’s preferences.
DIY whitening options
There are a few at-home remedies that may provide some tooth lightening, but do not expect the results to compare to the professionally rendered services discussed above.
A paste of baking soda can be made and brushed onto your teeth to scrub away the exterior stain. Typically this is not recommended to be done more than once per week.
Another way to lighten teeth at home is to take a preventative approach. If you know you’re going to consume food or drink that are known staining agents, you can block their penetration into your tooth surface by coating the teeth slightly.
An easy method to do this is to eat cheese and allow it to coat the tooth surface prior to consuming the known staining agent.
Likewise, drinking or eating anything that will keep your mouth well hydrated and lubricated can also decrease stain accumulation. Water can be swished and sipped on throughout the day, or chewing a sugar free gum will produce excess saliva, which can help create a well hydrated oral environment.
Lastly, consuming abrasive foods such as celery, apples and leafy vegetables can help remove the plaque or biofilm layer on your teeth and therefore decrease the stain potential.
All of these options result in noticeably whiter, brighter teeth. To improve your smile by several shades with just one treatment, contact us today!
Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Whiten your teeth and feel your confidence increasing with each level of brightness. Our dentist understands the impact that white teeth have on your life. A strong bright smile makes you look and feel more professional and more appealing.
Think of this treatment as an investment in your career and your personal life. Whitening is actually the most commonly performed cosmetic dental service. It is a process that has significant results in little time.
Most people can benefit from tooth whitening for many reasons, including: work, events, and personal cosmetic enhancements. The treatment is strong enough to make a dramatic difference in your smile, yet gentle enough not to harm your teeth or gums.
Schedule an appointment today to light up your smile!