There are so many advantages to having a whiter, more attractive smile. That’s why it should come as no surprise that so many people are choosing to whiten their teeth. And while there are countless over-the-counter whitening products available, most people who have used these can agree on one thing: the results are disappointing. Fortunately, this is not the case with professional whitening. In fact, virtually anyone can enjoy a remarkably whiter smile in just a single trip to the dentist’s office. If you’re wondering what is the best teeth whitening product, you should know that many dental professionals report that one consistently ranks among the best: the Zoom! teeth whitening system.
Why Teeth Become Stained
While it’s certainly true that teeth can be stained by foods and drinks, and even by some medications, there are other reasons for staining. What follows are three categories of tooth stains that you should be aware of before having your teeth professionally whitened.
- Extrinsic stains: This type of discoloration occurs on the surface of the tooth and is caused when particles of food and drink build up on top of the enamel layer. Eating foods that cause stains – such as berries and tomato sauces – as well as drinking certain beverages – such as coffee, tea, or red wine – often leave behind tiny particles that form a film of protein which covers the surface of the tooth. Tobacco use also contributes to extrinsic stains. This category of tooth discoloration can be resolved by having your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office and/or by professional whitening services performed by your dentist.
- Intrinsic stains: This type of tooth stain is one that occurs below the enamel layer of the tooth when tiny food and drink particles work their way into the enamel layer of the tooth. Although an intrinsic stain is more difficult to remove than an extrinsic stain, it can be done by professional teeth whitening performed in the dentist’s office.
- Stains related to age: Over time, both extrinsic and intrinsic stains can build up and result in discolored teeth. But those aren’t the only reason for age-related staining. As a person gets older, the dentin layer of the tooth begins to turn yellow and the enamel layer on top of the dentin becomes thinner. That means that the yellowish dentin layer begins to show through. In some cases, professional whitening performed by a dentist can improve the appearance of age-related staining, but if the enamel is very thin, most whitening products won’t work. Prior to the development of the Zoom! whitening system, patients with compromised enamel had to rely on other cosmetic procedures (such as bonding or porcelain veneers, for example) to achieve a whiter smile. The Zoom! system, however, has proved to be somewhat effective in lightening the dentin layer.
Although professional teeth whitening works incredibly well for most dental patients, it may not be the answer for people with compromised enamel. Your dentist can tell you what type of stains are present on your teeth, and whether or not you are a good candidate for professional teeth whitening.
What Makes Zoom! Whitening So Effective
The Zoom! whitening system utilizes the very latest in dental technology to create a bleaching system that is fast, painless, and highly effective. Although there are many other whitening products available, Zoom! has proven to work particularly well, producing longer-lasting results, reduced tooth sensitivity, faster treatment time, and can even remove some stains from dental restorations like crowns and veneers. As we mentioned earlier, unlike many other whitening products, the Zoom! process can be effective in lightening the dentin layer of a tooth. This is the layer that is located directly under the tooth enamel. As we mentioned earlier, when we get older the enamel of our teeth becomes thinner and the dentin layer starts to turn yellow. Most whitening products don’t have any effect on the dentin, but Zoom! has proven somewhat effective in lightening the dentin portion of the tooth. This is one reason why Zoom! is the preferred whitening method used by countless dentists throughout the US.
The Zoom! Procedure
Your dentist will most likely recommend that you have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist prior to the Zoom! procedure. Once that is completed, the process will begin with your dentist using cheek retractors to expose every tooth inside the mouth. After that, the gum tissue will be covered to prevent it from coming into contact with the bleaching gel. Then your dentist will apply the Zoom! whitening agent to the surface of each tooth, after which he or she will use a specially designed light for 15 minutes to activate the gel. Finally, the gel is removed and your mouth will be rinsed out. This entire process will then be repeated two more times before the procedure is complete.
The benefits of having a whiter smile go far beyond your appearance. Studies have found that people with whiter smiles have a higher self-esteem and more self-confidence than those with less attractive smiles. And while there are certainly other cosmetic dental procedures that will dramatically improve the appearance of a person’s smile, teeth whitening is the fastest, least expensive way of achieving that goal. While it’s true that the Zoom! whitening system works well for the vast majority of dental patients, it might not be the best choice for everyone. If you have other dental issues – such as gum disease or tooth decay, for example – your dentist will want to resolve those problems before you have your teeth whitened. It’s important to remember that whitening products are not intended to be sued on children’s teeth. And although Zoom! has been effective in removing some stains from dental restorations (such as crowns, fillings, and veneers), generally speaking whitening products won’t change the shade of existing dental work. Only your dentist can tell you for sure whether or not you are a good candidate for Zoom! or any other whitening product. For more information about what is the best teeth whitening product, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment today.