Scaling, Polishing, and Dental Whitening

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Scaling, Polishing, and Dental Whitening

​​A bright, white smile without any stains can make a big difference in your appearance and your confidence.Tooth stains can be caused by a variety of factors, including both internal and external causes.

Here's a closer look at each type of cause:

Common Causes of Tooth Stains

  1. Genetic cause:Genetic disposition can determine the thickness of your outer tooth enamel. Thinner enamel can make the underlying dentin more visible and cause the teeth to appear yellow or gray.
  2. Food and habits: Acidic drinks and staining foods can cause your teeth to become yellow or discolored over time.
  3. Tobacco: Smoking or using other tobacco products can cause yellow or brown stains on the teeth.
  4. Foods and Beverages: Certain foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored berries, can stain the teeth over time.
  5. Medications: Certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can cause internal tooth stains if taken during childhood when the teeth are developing.

Previous dental treatment: Filling and root canal treatment can lead to tooth discoloration.


Regular Scaling and Polishing

Scaling and polishing is a common dental procedure that is used to remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth and to polish the teeth for a brighter, cleaner smile. Normally, we advise scaling and polishing every 9 to 12 months.

After the procedure, your teeth may feel smoother and look brighter. You may also experience some mild sensitivity or discomfort, but this should subside within a few days.

There are several reasons why teeth may become sensitive after scaling, including:


1. Gum recession

If you have gum disease or other periodontal problems, scaling can sometimes cause the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots and making them more sensitive.

2. Temporary nerve irritation

Sometimes, scaling can cause temporary irritation to the nerves in the teeth, which can make them more sensitive. This usually resolves on its own within a few days.

In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening is performed by a dental professional in a dental office. It is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses a bleaching agent to lighten the color of the teeth. The procedure typically takes about an hour and involves the application of a high-concentration bleaching gel to the teeth. The gel is activated with a special light, and the results are visible immediately. The procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. The dentist will place a protective barrier over your gums and lips to prevent the whitening gel from irritating your soft tissue.
  2. Concentrated hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel will then be applied to the teeth. This gel will be left on the teeth for several minutes, and a special light or laser may be used to activate the gel and enhance the whitening process.
  3. Depending on the severity of the staining, the dentist may apply the whitening gel several times during the procedure.
  4. Once the teeth have reached the desired shade of white, the dentist will remove the protective barrier from your gums and lips and clean your teeth to remove any remaining whitening gel.

At-Home Whitening

At-home whitening involves the use of a custom-fitted tray and a lower-concentration bleaching gel that is applied to the teeth at home. The tray is worn for a specified amount of time each day, typically for several weeks, until the desired level of whiteness is achieved.


Aftercare for Dental Whitening

After dental whitening, it's important to take proper care of your teeth to help maintain the results and minimize any potential side effects.

Here are some tips to help you care for your teeth after dental whitening:

  • Avoid Staining Foods and Beverages for the first 24 to 48 hours after whitening
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly to help remove surface stains and prevent new ones from forming.
  • Use a straw when drinking beverages that can stain your teeth.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Use a sensitivity toothpaste and avoid hot or cold foods and beverages for a few days if you experience tooth sensitivity after whitening.
  • Schedule regular dental cleanings by removing surface stains and preventing tartar buildup.