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The Science Behind Teeth Whitening in Downtown Atlanta, GA

patient getting professional teeth whitening treatment

The Science Behind Teeth Whitening

How Our Atlanta Dentist Lifts And Dissolves Stains

White teeth are a sign of youth, health, and beauty. So, it’s no surprise that many people want to brighten their smiles. But what makes teeth yellow or stained in the first place? And how do teeth whitening products work to reverse that discoloration? 

Atlanta, GA, dentist Dr. Thomas Kauffman explains the science behind teeth whitening, explaining why teeth turn yellow and how whitening treatments can restore your dazzling smile. Call (404) 524-1981 today to schedule your teeth whitening consultation at our downtown Atlanta dental office.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

Teeth have an inner layer called dentin and an outer protective layer called enamel. Enamel is hard and shiny yet porous, meaning it can absorb stains over time. Dentin is a yellowish color, and when enamel gets thinner or more transparent with age, that yellow dentin starts to show through.

Many factors contribute to the yellowing and staining of teeth, including:

  • Food and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and cola
  • Tobacco use
  • Aging
  • Certain medications
  • Trauma or disease that affects the development of tooth enamel

Why Teeth Turn Yellow or Stained

Teeth can turn yellow or become stained for several reasons. Let’s explore some of the most common causes:

  • Extrinsic Stains: These are stains on the outside of the tooth caused by foods, drinks, or tobacco. Common culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, berries, and smoking.
  • Intrinsic Stains: These stains occur within the tooth itself and are often caused by aging, trauma, or disease that affects enamel development, and certain medications like tetracycline antibiotics

How Teeth Whitening Works

Professional teeth whitening treatments use peroxide-based gels or solutions to bleach away stains and whiten teeth. Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

  1. Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen radicals.
  2. These oxygen radicals penetrate the enamel and dentin, breaking apart the stain molecules.
  3. This process makes the teeth appear whiter and brighter.

Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments

Professional In-Office Whitening

  • Done by a dentist in about an hour
  • Uses a powerful whitening gel and special light or laser
  • Provides fast, dramatic results

Professional Take-Home Whitening Kits

  • Custom-fitted mouth trays
  • The whitening gel is applied for a set period each day
  • Gradual whitening over a few weeks

Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels

  • Weaker whitening solutions
  • Used for a few minutes each day
  • Slower, less dramatic results

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

When done properly by a dental professional, teeth whitening is generally safe and effective. However, some people may experience temporary side effects such as tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. To minimize risks, always follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.

Tips for Maintaining Your White Smile

After whitening your teeth, you’ll want to keep them looking bright. Our Atlanta dentist recommends the following tips to maintain your new smile:

  • Avoid staining foods and drinks when possible
  • Use a straw for beverages like coffee or cola
  • Brush and floss regularly
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Get regular professional cleanings

See Our Atlanta, GA, Dentist For a Whiter Smile!

While whitening products can help remove surface stains, only a dentist can properly treat deeper, intrinsic stains or other dental issues. By regularly seeing Dr. Thomas Kauffman in Downtown Atlanta, GA, you can keep your smile healthy, bright, and beautiful.

Call (404) 524-1981 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Kauffman! We look forward to meeting new and returning patients from Buckhead, Sandy Springs, and Cumberland, GA.

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