Having white teeth for some people just comes naturally, while others try a variety of methods to get their teeth to the pearly white status. Many people try to use over- the-counter products to achieve their goal but often find it is not an answer, and in some cases causes their teeth to actually get worse. In order to avoid making the wrong decision about how to get your teeth to be their brightest and whitest, we have written this article to provide you with the best information.
What Is Teeth Whitening
First of all, if you are wondering if you should whiten your teeth, here is a useful fact – almost 100 million people in the United States have had some form of whitening procedure done on their teeth. It is the most common form of cosmetic dentistry performed today. Formally it is called dental bleaching.
The purpose of whitening your teeth is to restore them to their natural color. Patients can take it to another level by teeth bleaching, which goes beyond the natural color of your teeth. Whichever path you decide to take, you need to see us to decide which, if either, of the procedures is possible based on your dental health.
Not everyone can benefit from teeth whitening. People who have fillings or other dental work are not recommended for the procedure. This is the first reason consulting with us is essential before attempting any type of whitening product.
The basic procedure is to make a mold of your upper and lower teeth, then create a customized tray where the whitening agent will be placed. The agent is generally a form of hydrogen peroxide. Before placing the tray in your mouth, the dentist will coat your teeth with a gel to prevent the possibility of any chemicals damaging your teeth or gums. This precaution is necessary, as everyone’s dental health and response to the whitener is different. Dentists are able to use stronger whitening chemicals than over the counter products, maximizing the ability to get your teeth as white as possible.
You will likely go through three procedures lasting between 30 to 90 minutes each. The result will last between 3 and 4 months once completed, so expect to return several times during the year to keep your teeth at their whitest.
A more recent treatment is laser whitening. This method will take several hours in the dentist’s chair to complete, but you will only need a single treatment. Your teeth are coated with beeswax or a similar substance to protect your gums and sensitive areas of the mouth. Then a specific type of laser is used based on the type of whitening needed and the recommendation of the dentist. Once the procedure is completed, the teeth are given a fluoride treatment to maximize their brightness. Of course, because laser whitening is fast and the best available whitening treatment, it is also the most expensive of the available choices.
Why Not Over-the-Counter Whiteners
Many people use over-the-counter teeth whiteners with varying results. The potential problems have been mentioned above: the potential for chemical burns, a less than optimal result, and the possibility of inflamed gums during the treatments. A dental professional is simply a better choice because you know we will do it professionally and get it right the first time.
With all the advantages of teeth whitening mention here, there is no reason for you to hesitate to contact us to get more information on the procedure and schedule an appointment to decide what are the best options for you. We offer a free initial consultation and explore the options with you at that time, so there is virtually no risk and no cost to you.