Everyone wants to look their best. If you would like to improve your appearance and boost your confidence with a brighter smile, teeth whitening might be the solution for you. Also, if you are getting replacement teeth such as a crown or bridge, you may want to consider whitening your teeth before getting the procedure. This way, your dentist can match your replacement teeth to your whitened existing teeth.

Whatever the reason for your decision to whiten your teeth, there are many teeth whitening treatment solutions available such as whitening toothpastes, home-use whiteners, and in-office whitening. In-office whitening, or professional teeth whitening, is done in a dental office and whitens your teeth faster than the other methods.

What Does Teeth Whitening Achieve?

Teeth whitening helps remove surface stains and discoloration (caused by food and beverages) from the teeth and lighten the tooth enamel.

Teeth whitening also boasts a number of other benefits: 

  • Boosts confidence and self-esteem. Whitening your teeth can provide you with the self-confidence you did not feel with your smile now.
  • Improves oral health care routine. Patients who've had their teeth whitened tend to show an improvement in their oral health care routine. Having whiter teeth gives patients an incentive to maintain the overall look and health of their teeth by regularly brushing, flossing, and cleaning.
  • Easy to maintain. To maintain your newly whitened smile, all you need to do is stick to your regular oral health care routine, avoid teeth-staining foods and beverages when possible, and depending on your chosen whitening method, check for touch-ups.

How Long Does It Last?

While the effects of teeth whitening aren't permanent, there are things that you can do to increase the longevity of your newly-whitened teeth. If you avoid foods and beverages that stain - coffee, tea, dark soft drinks, red wine, and dark sauces - you may see results for a year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed. But for people who expose their teeth to these foods and beverages that cause staining, they may see the whiteness in their teeth begin to fade in as little as one month.

Other factors can affect the longevity of teeth whitening. For example, smoking and taking certain medications can cause staining to occur after your teeth have been whitened. 

How Is It Done?

Whitening can be done in a dental office or from the comfort of your own home. If you choose in-office whitening, your dentist will make a record of your current teeth before starting, place a barrier along the gumline to protect it from exposure to the bleaching agent, and coat your teeth with a whitening solution. The whitening solution contains either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching agent. A specialized light or laser activates the solution and "bleaches" the teeth to give a whiter appearance. The laser helps the teeth quickly and thoroughly absorb the bleaching agent, whitening the teeth from the inside-out. This process usually takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete. Depending on the level of whiteness you desire, it could take multiple appointments to achieve optimal results. 

 Alternatively, you may opt for a professional at-home whitening kit. For this method, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth and then make a custom-fitted tray.  Once the tray is ready, you must wear it between one hour to several hours a day for one to two weeks. Sometimes, it may take longer (four or more weeks) to achieve the amount of whitening you want.

 

Are you ready for a brighter, whiter smile? Contact us today to schedule an appointment.