We'd all like to have bright, sparkling smiles but unfortunately for most people, achieving the white shade they'd like might take a bit of effort. Additionally, teeth stain in a variety of colors depending on the cause of the stain, genetics, and the vitality of the tooth. Teeth color can range anywhere from light yellow, to brown, to gray, to blue-tinted, and even mottled or splotchy. Here's a quick guide to picking the Opalescence® Tooth Whitening System that's right for you.
Light to Medium Yellow Staining:
Light to medium yellow stains typically come as a result of consuming tooth-staining food and drinks like beets, blueberries, wine, coffee, or black tea. Mediocre hygiene, infrequent dental visits, and genetics can also play a part in the yellowing or browning of the teeth. Because these types of stains tend to stay on the surface or just below the surface of the teeth, they usually lift to a nice shade of white without much resistance. One round (ten pre-filled whitening trays) of Opalescence Go® 10% whitening or Opalescence Go 15% whitening will usually do the job.
Additionally, if you have very light staining and want quick results, you can opt for Opalescence® Boost in-office whitening. One 40-minute Opalescence Boost whitening treatment will give immediate results and is perfect before an upcoming event such as a wedding, graduation, job interview, etc.
Deep Yellow and Brown Staining:
For stains that fall on the deeper yellow or brown spectrum, dentists may recommend Opalescence® PF whitening. Opalescence PF whitening has longer wear times, which allow the carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel more time to stay in contact with teeth. Additionally, the Opalescence PF whitening system requires custom-made whitening trays, which enhance the whitening gel's contact with every facet of every tooth to provide a smooth, bright result. For Opalescence PF whitening, you should work with your dentist to decide which percentage will work best for you.
Gray and Blue Staining:
Because gray or blue tooth staining tends to be more intrinsic—the coloring of the tooth is usually far deeper below the surface than other stains—gray and blue staining most often comes as a result of genetics, childhood exposure to certain prescription medications, or long-term smoking and tobacco use. This type of staining is definitely a job for the Opalescence PF custom whitening system. Think of this type of whitening as a marathon (a longer, steady process), versus a sprint (like the 10-day Opalescence Go regimen). With time, Opalescence PF custom whitening works wonders on gray and blue staining, helping to achieve the white, confident smile you desire.
Opalescence® Endo whitening to the rescue! This whitening system was formulated especially for endodontically-treated, non-vital teeth that can often have a gray, dull look. Opalescence Endo whitening works by having a dentist or endodontist deliver the Opalescence Endo 35% hydrogen peroxide gel into the pulp chamber of the non-vital, discolored tooth. The whitening gel is then sealed inside with a temporary cement. After 3–5 days, your clinician will remove the whitening gel to reveal beautiful, bright results.
Mottled or Fluorosis Staining:
This is a common problem often seen in adults or children exposed to excessive fluoride, which can result in fluorosis, or mottling of the teeth. This same type of staining can also occur due to childhood exposure to certain antibiotics like tetracycline. To remove such discolorations, clinicians can apply Opalustre® chemical and mechanical abrasion slurry to the surface of the teeth and buff away discoloration, reapplying as necessary to achieve the desired uniform, glossy tooth color.
Because of dietary habits, time, and—as previously mentioned—genetics, whitened teeth will most likely require a touch-up from time to time, often with a shorter whitening regimen. Usually touch-ups only require a night or two of using Opalescence PF whitening gel or 2–3 treatments of Opalescence Go whitening. However, the best way to keep teeth bright, clean, and healthy is to brush morning, night, and especially after consuming potentially staining food or drinks, with Opalescence® Whitening Toothpaste. Here's to achieving the white, healthy, confident smiles you've always wanted!