“Tooth whitening,” simply put, is any method for lightening the shade of the teeth.
Over the centuries and millennia, innumerable tooth whitening methods have been used in as many cultures. A few hundred years ago the typical method involved your barber filing down your teeth and then bleaching them with acid. A few thousand years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the method involved pumice and vinegar. There have also been nondestructive methods, such as chewing sticks from naturally antimicrobial trees. These have a slight whitening effect but were primarily used for oral hygiene (i.e. as toothbrushes) and in fact, are still used today in many parts of the world.
The desire for a brighter smile or for “dazzlingly white teeth” is commonly associated with movie stars, politicians or modern life. In actual fact, white teeth have been regarded as attractive for thousands of years, almost uniformly. Though this has gone to extremes in recent decades with overly white, unnatural-looking false teeth popularized in the media, the tide is now turning to greater demand for healthy, natural looking, and preferably entirely natural white teeth.
Today’s methods of tooth whitening include home use methods and professional treatments applied by dentists. All modern techniques are non-destructive and involve simple bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. Over-the-counter products have a much lower concentration of the bleaching agent and therefore have much slower results than whitening agents restricted to use by trained dentists.
There are many causes and types of tooth discoloration. Uneven discolorations caused by tobacco and uniform discolorations from a gradual yellowing of the teeth over a span of years shouldn’t be treated identically. Other kinds of discolorations exist, such as those caused by certain antibiotics, or by too much fluoride. These are generally less susceptible to whitening, especially without professional attention.
At Minneapolis Dental we are very familiar with all kinds of discolorations. Our in-house treatment uses a combination of different whitening products, along with expert knowledge of their specific uses, to achieve dramatic and long-lasting results on nearly all types of discolorations after a single 30 to 60-minute treatment.
Call us today to make an appointment for your whitening treatment.