Reasons Why You Should Visit a Dentist for Teeth Whitening

If you are thinking about getting a smile makeover, professional teeth whitening in South Tampa is an excellent place to start. Compared to over-the-counter whitening products, professional teeth whitening can significantly improve the appearance of your smile. A dental professional can remove deep-set stains that products sold at the drugstore can’t touch. 

At Charles Martin DDS, our Tampa dentist is happy to provide professional teeth whitening to all eligible patients. 

Dentist in Bellaire provides a variety of customer dental services to make your visit more pleasant.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration? 

While you may brush twice a day and floss every evening, yellowing teeth naturally happen as we age. This occurs as the enamel, which is the white, strong outer layer of our teeth, begins to thin, allowing more of the yellow-colored dentin underneath this enamel to become visible. 

Besides the natural aging process, other factors that lead to tooth discoloration include: 

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco products

  • Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine regularly

  • Certain prescription medications

  • Inadequate dental hygiene practices

If your teeth are stained, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. If you are experiencing tooth discoloration of any sort, please do not hesitate to contact our dental office for professional teeth whitening near you

Types of Tooth Discoloration

There are three kinds of tooth discoloration: intrinsic, extrinsic, and age-related. 

Intrinsic discoloration is the darkening or yellowing of the inner structures of a tooth when the dentin changes in color. 

Extrinsic discoloration occurs when the enamel of your tooth becomes stained due to the ingestion of certain foods, drinks, or the use of tobacco products. 

Age-related discoloration is often a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors as the enamel thins out and the dentin darkens in color. 

In some cases, chips, cracks, or other injuries to the tooth can also lead to discoloration, particularly in cases of damage to the tooth’s pulp which is the part of the tooth that contains all the important nerves and blood vessels that provide nutrients to your teeth. 

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

Often, people ask our dentist in South Tampa why they should opt for the more expensive option of professional teeth whitening when there are many more affordable options easily available at the local drugstore. 

The answer to this question is that professional teeth whitening is more effective, safer, and longer-lasting than over-the-counter whitening options. For example, whitening toothpastes typically take up to six weeks of consistent use to produce visible effects on your smile. While they can remove extrinsic stains, they cannot address intrinsic stains. When you opt for professional teeth whitening, you can leave the dental office with a brighter smile in less than one hour. 

While over-the-counter whitening strips and gels can treat deeper, intrinsic stains because they stay on the teeth longer than whitening toothpastes, they can also cause gum and tooth sensitivity and pain. 

Dr. Charles Martin DDS uses stronger bleaching agents than what you can purchase over the counter for teeth whitening to produce better results. On top of this, professional teeth whitening is closely monitored by our dentist near you, and your gums and teeth will remain protected from damage. 

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work? 

There are two options for professional teeth whitening: in-office and take-home whitening trays. 

If you opt for in-office teeth whitening, the process will begin with our dentist thoroughly cleaning your teeth to create a smooth surface and ensure even whitening. Next, they will apply a rubber dental dam to your gums and lips to protect them from the whitening gel. Once your gums and lips are protected, our dentist will apply the professional-grade whitening agent to your teeth and expose your teeth to a special light to activate the bleaching agent and effectively whiten your teeth. This process lasts for about fifteen minutes and can be repeated several times within an hour to get your teeth to the desired shade. 

If you would prefer to whiten your teeth from the comfort of your home, then you can speak to your dentist about professional, custom take-home whitening trays. If you choose this option, our dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays that fit perfectly over them. This will ensure that the whitening agent evenly covers your teeth and does not get onto your gums or lips and irritate them. Once your custom whitening trays are ready, our dentist will prescribe you a special professional-grade whitening gel and instruct you on how to use this gel along with the trays to enhance your smile. Take-home professional whitening takes a few days to yield desirable results most of the time. 

What Are the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening? 

The safest and most effective way to brighten and whiten your smile is through professional teeth whitening. Not only does this procedure ensure that your oral health remains in excellent shape, but it gives you the opportunity to completely customize your smile to your individual needs.


Although professional teeth whitening costs more upfront than over-the-counter whitening products, it can end up being less expensive in the long run than purchasing a plethora of whitening products with lackluster results. 

Who is Eligible for Professional Teeth Whitening? 

While most individuals who wish to easily enhance their smiles in an affordable and effective manner are eligible for professional teeth whitening, not everyone is an ideal candidate for this procedure. The individuals who cannot get their teeth whitened include: 

  • Those who are younger than the age sixteen

  • Those who are pregnant or nursing

  • Those with previous dental restorations such as crowns, fillings, or bridges

  • Those with tooth sensitivity

If you are one of the people who are not eligible for professional teeth whitening, there are other options for enhancing your smile. Speak to your dentist about options for porcelain veneers or other restorations that can improve your overall appearance. 

Visit Charles Martin DDS

If you are interested in professional teeth whitening and would like to determine if you are an eligible candidate for this dental procedure, please do not hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team of dental professionals at Charles Martin DDS. Our team is happy to provide you with a comprehensive oral evaluation and high-quality, professional teeth whitening to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. 

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