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A closer look at teeth whitening

There are two different types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic stains, which are on the surface of your teeth, and intrinsic stains, which are deeper set inside teeth.

Extrinsic stains are located on the surface of the tooth and can be caused by beverages like tea, coffee or wine.

Extrinsic stains are darkly colored and can reflect something you ate or drank. These stains attach to materials on the tooth, and the result is a discolored layer on the enamel of the tooth. The discoloration can sometimes unevenly build up on the backsides of teeth as well as in between teeth. Habits like, smoking, coffee/tea/dark soda consumption and poor hygiene are often the culprits of extrinsic stains.

How Whitening Works

Intrinsic, or deep stains, are located within the tooth, deep inside the enamel.

Intrinsic stains don't usually affect all teeth equally. They can be caused by such things as medications, past traumas to the mouth, infection, as well as the natural aging process. Different chemicals affect the color of the stain. But most times the stains are gray or yellowish brown.

How Whitening Works

In order to properly whiten your teeth, you need to understand there are different types of stains. Surface stains (extrinsic) can be removed in several ways including micropolishers, surfactants or bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide. Deeper stains (intrinsic) can be whitened with a peroxide-based treatment that can penetrate the surface area of the tooth.

Does frequency affect results?

In order to deeply whiten your teeth, you need to use a peroxide-based formula on a regular basis and each application has to penetrate teeth for a certain amount of time. The more diligent you are, the whiter your teeth will be. Since everyone’s mouth is different, including sensitivity and enamel thickness, it’s important to find a treatment and frequency that work for you.

What to expect when whitening

Peroxide-based whitening ensures a deep clean to your teeth. Some people see immediate whitening. Sometimes it’s harder to notice the whitening effect because all the teeth slowly change at the same time. Every person is different and results can vary per person and per product. Some people can experience tooth sensitivity, which may be related to frequency of use, concentration of peroxide and individual sensitivity tolerance.