First impressions are everything. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, which makes it very important for your overall appearance. A whiter and brighter smile can help you feel more confident and can convey confidence to others, making a more memorable impression of you. Unfortunately, aging and certain dietary habits can darken, stain, and even blacken the most perfect teeth.
Things we do on a daily basis that contribute to stained teeth:
In-office whitening: This is a safe and fast method of whitening teeth in order to see instant results. Perfect for the busy-body on the run, your dentist can help you choose the right color and shade for your tooth and have it all applied in the same visit.
Take-home whitening kits: A professional whitening tray can be crafted at our office and sent home with our patients to be used at their discretion. After achieving the desired effects with in-office whitening, our dental professionals can go through all the instructions to make sure the patient knows how to properly use the whitening kit. Patients can achieve further whitening results at a professional level simply by wearing the kit for 20 minutes at home.
Since whitening kits contain high levels of peroxide it is important to use caution when wearing them. Be careful when placing the whitening gels in the trays and try not to overfill the gums, which can lead to them becoming sore. Also, it is highly recommended not to wear a whitening kit for more than an hour because this greatly increases the risk of teeth sensitivity. If your teeth ever feel sensitive during use, discontinue use for a few days to allow your teeth to settle. Please contact our office if you require more information.
We’ve searched the web and compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding teeth whitening. Feel free to ask us a question if it’s not answered below.
Who should use teeth whitening?
Generally, anyone with healthy gums and teeth that are looking to brighten up their smile can benefit from the professional teeth whitening system. It has been shown to be highly effective at removing stains from teeth, including tobacco, coffee, tea, tetracycline, and various other tooth stains. Professional teeth whitening system will not affect existing dental work.
Does the whitening system work on Dentures, or Veneers?
The process was designed to enhance the natural whiteness of the enamel. Existing restorations such as tooth-colored fillings, dentures, crowns, bonding, veneers, and bridges do not lighten. This means that any pre-existing dental work may need to be replaced to match the new tooth shade achieved in the natural teeth, should a bleaching process proceed. Clients typically apply the gel product only to their natural teeth, allowing these treated teeth to lighten up to match a cap, crown, or veneer.
Is tooth whitening bad for your teeth?
Studies of teeth whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface. Professional teeth whitening does not cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth, and is considered harmless by most dental health professionals.
How many shades whiter can I expect my teeth to get?
The amount of whitening varies from client to client and cannot be predicted or guaranteed; but in general use, teeth may lighten anywhere from 6 to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide. The results depend greatly on how discolored the teeth were originally. Yellow or brown teeth, surface stains, and uniformly darkened teeth are easiest to whiten. Additional whitening treatments may be needed in order to achieve the desired shade, especially with heavily stained teeth.
How long do the teeth whitening effects last?
Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.
How long does the treatment take?
The process takes only 30-minutes, (2 – 15-minute applications) to achieve a whiter and brighter smile. It is broken down into two 15-minute applications to allow for maximum gel concentration and light exposure, without being under the light for too long of a period to cause gum irritation. Individuals with sensitive teeth may reduce the intensity of the bleaching unit by choosing a lower power setting and those with very heavy stains may need additional treatments.
What happens during teeth whitening?
When you visit your dental office for professional tooth whitening, your dentist will have you wear a tray during the treatment that will cover your teeth with a specially formulated whitening gel. Also, your dentist may use a type of light to enhance the whitening effects of the gel.
Does the treatment hurt?
Teeth whitening may cause sensitivity during or after treatment and slight discomfort in the gums. Both of these side effects are usually temporary and will disappear a few days after treatment. It is important to tell your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms as the dentist will be able to advise how best to cope in the meantime.
How can I make my results last longer?
Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can take to help retain your tooth whitening results. First, avoid eating or drinking any items that can stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, berries, and anything tomato-based. If you do choose to eat and drink these items, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, keeping up with twice-daily tooth brushing and biannual dental cleanings can help prevent stains from building up on your teeth.
Why is professional whitening better than other options?
The greatest benefit that you’ll gain by seeing a dentist for tooth whitening is speed. Unlike over-the-counter kits, professional whitening uses a stronger formula that can provide you with a noticeably whiter smile in a single treatment. At-home kits that you can pick up at the drugstore often take a week or longer to provide noticeable results.