If you have yellow or stained teeth that don’t respond to preventive measures like brushing and visiting the dentist, consider professional teeth whitening. At his practice in Arcadia, California, cosmetic dentist Hanfu Lee, DDS, proudly offers Zoom teeth whitening as well as internal teeth bleaching. To achieve a brighter, whiter smile, schedule an appointment by calling the office or booking online today.

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Why are my teeth stained and yellow?

Teeth become stained and yellow for a variety of reasons, but the most common is the natural aging process. As you get older, the outer layer of your teeth (enamel) experiences wear-and-tear from biting and chewing. This reveals the inner portion of your teeth (dentin), which is naturally yellow in color. 

Other factors that cause your teeth to change color include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Using tobacco products
  • Drinking dark beverages like coffee or red wine
  • Eating foods with tomato bases
  • Cavities 
  • Infection

You might also develop stained or discolored teeth if you take prescription medications that contain certain chemicals such as tetracycline. 

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that uses medical-grade chemicals to eradicate stains and discoloration from the surface of your teeth. Most modern teeth whitening solutions use carbamide peroxide, a byproduct of hydrogen peroxide. Before being released to the general public, teeth whitening treatments undergo vigorous testing by regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Are there different types of teeth whitening?

Dr. Lee offers two types of teeth whitening treatment. Depending on your oral health history and goals for treatment, he might recommend:

Zoom teeth whitening

Zoom teeth whitening is an in-office treatment that can make your teeth up to *eight shades brighter in just one treatment. During Zoom whitening, Dr. Lee carefully applies a bleaching solution to the surface of your teeth. Afterward, he points a special light at your teeth that triggers a chemical reaction. This reaction eradicates stains or discoloration, transforming your smile in just 90 minutes.

Internal bleaching  

Internal bleaching is a whitening treatment that Dr. Lee recommends for people whose teeth don’t respond to other whitening methods. It’s much less common but is capable of addressing internal stains and damage that other methods cannot. 

Prior to conducting an internal bleaching treatment, Dr. Lee performs a root canal on one or more stained teeth. After removing the infected or damaged pulp, he fills the interior cavity with a sodium perborate paste. This non-toxic substance dissolves the stains that cause tooth discoloration. Dr. Lee completes the treatment by filling and sealing the tooth, just like he would during a traditional root canal. 

How can I prevent stains following teeth whitening treatment?

Following teeth whitening treatment, there’s no way to prevent stains entirely. However, you can significantly lower your risk by brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, using a fluoride-based mouthwash, and visiting Dr. Lee regularly for oral exams and cleanings. 

If you’d like to learn more about the various teeth whitening treatments at the office of Hanfu Lee, DDS, call to speak with a friendly team member, or book online today.

*Individual results may vary