Valentine’s Day is almost here — yay! Of course, if your smile is less than pristine, the prospect of a special date with your significant other may lose a bit of its luster. When you’re trying to avoid smiling or constantly hiding your teeth behind your hands, it’s tough to just let loose and enjoy yourself.

And if you don’t have special date planned, that’s no excuse to let your smile slide. Teeth whitening is a simple procedure that makes a dramatic difference. Lifting years of stains and discoloration off your pearly whites will make you look younger and boost your confidence. And that will be apparent in every interaction throughout your day and your life — from the most mundane to the most consequential, like a job interview.

At Kirchner Dental, we have two highly effective methods from Philips Zoom for achieving the brilliant white smile you crave. Call 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) to book an appointment.

Teeth Darken Over Time

Lots of factors can cause the enamel of your teeth to become yellow and stained. Many people think it’s an inevitable part of getting older and it’s true that it does tend to happen over time. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept pearlies that are less than white. There are two main types of tooth discoloration.

Extrinsic staining is the most common and is the most easily reversed. That’s because it affects the outer layer of the teeth (the enamel) only. It tends to be caused by what we consume and lifestyle factors. A few culprits include:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco use
  • Eating highly pigmented foods such as berries, beets, curry, and tomato-based sauces
  • Dark beverages like coffee and tea

Drinks that are acidic, like soda and alcohol, can contribute to teeth discoloration even if they are light in color. They make the smooth surface of the enamel rougher, which helps stains adhere.

You can help minimize the darkening effects of foods and drinks on your smile. Avoid acidic products, and if you do eat a dark-colored food (or any food, really) accompany it with plenty of cleansing water and brush your teeth afterward if possible.

Intrinsic staining refers to the darkening or yellowing of the dentin, or inner tooth structure. As this is below the surface, this type of discoloration is much more difficult to remove. If chemical whitening is not effective, you may want to consider veneers, crowns, or tooth bonding. Intrinsic stains may be caused by overexposure to fluoride in early childhood, certain antibiotics, trauma to the tooth, or an inborn condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta.

All Products Are Not the Same

If you’ve spent any time in the oral care section of your local drugstore, you know it’s packed with products that promise lighter, brighter, smiles. You may be wondering why bother coming to the dental office when you can just pick something up from the store?

Well, over-the-counter whitening systems are just not as effective. They contain far lower concentrations of active ingredient, so your smile won’t get as white. At the same time, they can be harsher on your teeth, especially as you may be tempted to leave the solution on longer than advised in order to get results. They trays are not custom fit, so they may be uncomfortable and fail to provide even coverage. The bottom line: don’t waste your money. Trust the professionals.

Zoom to Great Results

At Kircher Dental, we trust Philips Zoom professional teeth whitening systems. We have two options. Dr. Kircher or Dr. Sherry will be happy to discuss both with you so you can decide which best fits your needs.

In-Office Whitening

If you have an important event fast approaching or you are just impatient for results, the in-office treatment is your best bet. You will get dramatic results — up to eight shades lighter — over the course of one short dental visit. After cleaning your teeth, and making sure your gums and lips are protected, we will apply a powerful hydrogen peroxide varnish and activate it with a special LED light. We will repeat the process two more time. After about an hour, you will be ready to head home with your dazzling smile.

Take-Home Whitening

Our take-home treatment offers equally amazing results, but it takes a little longer to get there. We will craft custom trays that you will take home with the whitening solution and detailed instructions from us. You will whiten your teeth at night, as you sleep. This option gives you more control over the process. Once you’re happy with the shade of your smile, you can stop.

To request an appointment for professional teeth whitening at Kirchner Dental, fill out our online form. Or call our Jeffersonville, IN office at 812-913-6093 (Jeffersonville) 812-884-8304 (New Albany) 502-430-3451 (St. Matthews) .