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How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
Williston Park, NY

A woman smiling after receiving teeth whitening at Long Island Smile in Williston Park, NYThere are two classifications of stains on teeth: Extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are found on the surface of our teeth, while intrinsic stains exist between the tiny cracks in the enamel and deep within your dentin (the layer beneath enamel). While extrinsic stains can usually be managed with proper oral care, some are too difficult or complex to erase with standard dental cleanings completely. The smaller intrinsic stains are even trickier to spot and can lead to your teeth appearing discolored.

For many such cases, the most viable solution is teeth whitening. There are several options to whiten your teeth, from whitening toothpaste that remove a majority of surface stains at affordable cost to whitening strips placed on teeth for some time and more expensive light-activated techniques that can grant more dramatic results. If you’re looking to brighten your smile today, it’s as easy as visiting us at Long Island Smile. To schedule an appointment, call (516) 243-7473.

Types of Teeth Whitening Techniques


To elaborate, let’s go into more detail about the two main classes of whitening methods:

Bleaching- This type of procedure changes your teeth’s natural color, typically between five to seven shades brighter. Bleaches contain an active ingredient (usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in concentrations of 10-22%) that helps eliminate both extrinsic and deeper intrinsic stains. Costs between different bleaching treatments will vary. These procedures include but are not limited to:

•  Light-activated whitening- Also known as chair-side bleaching, this results in instantly and often significantly brighter teeth. Following around a year of day-to-day eating and drinking (coffee, tea, soda, other soft drinks, etc), however, discoloration will begin returning with new stains. Patients will need to have this procedure done multiple times, so long as they desire it.
•  Custom mouthpiece- Crafted by Dr. Neal Seltzer or Dr. Jeffrey Rein, it allows for in-home bleaching. The patient typically wears it for several hours each day or overnight for two weeks. Once new stains appear, simply wear the piece again for another night or two to remove them.
•  Over-the-counter- Found in most drug stores, these whitening products include a boil & bite tray application along with whitening gels used with a toothbrush and whitening strips placed directly on your teeth. Typically, one strip is placed each day for the amount of time specified in the instructions.


Non-bleaching- These treatments work via physical and chemical reaction to erase extrinsic stains:

Whitening toothpaste- All such toothpaste utilize mild abrasion to eliminate surface-level stains between visits to us. They contain specific chemical or polishing agents to provide extra thorough stain removal. These same abrasion and polishing agents are also used in professional cleanings and are most effective against staining caused from food or tobacco.

It must be noted that not every patient responds to every whitening technique in the same way. Some may find toothpaste more effective, while others with gray teeth or other more serious discoloration may need porcelain veneers or bonding to achieve their dream-smile. Remember, to make an appointment to discuss which method is best for you, call Long Island Smile at (516) 243-7473.
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Long Island Smile | www.longislandsmile.com | (516) 243-7473
101 Hillside Avenue, Suite A, Williston Park, NY 11596
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