There are many ways to achieve whiter teeth at home. Commercials and ads are constantly saying that their product is the way to get the whitest teeth in the shortest amount of time. However, the ADA recommends consulting your dentist if you’re curious, and there is no beating the speed and quality of In-office whitening.
The whitening or bleaching gel is applied directly to the teeth, and heat, light, or a special laser will be used depending on the preferred method of your dentist. A protective cover will be placed over your gums and tongue to help prevent any damage or discomfort. Although additional treatments may be desired, dramatic results can be seen in just one 30-60 minute treatment.
Why Do I Need My Teeth Whitened?
There are many factors that contribute to stained teeth.
- Foods and beverages can discolor teeth if they are consumed frequently, especially those like coffee, tea, red wine, and foods with dyes.
- Habits like smoking and tobacco usage also cause teeth to stain.
- The staining could also be coming from within the tooth, due to causes such as aging, medication use, infection, childhood illness, or even tooth trauma.
Benefits of Brightening Your Smile
- It can make a huge difference to the appearance of your smile! Whiter smiles give the impression of healthiness and can minimize the looks of fine lines and wrinkles, giving an overall younger look.
- It can improve your confidence and enhance your social and professional opportunities! A great smile is a sure-fire way to make a good impression, whether it’s a date or an interview.
- It is one of the more affordable options for cosmetic dental treatment, especially when compared to a treatment like porcelain veneers.
- It requires minimal preparation and delivers fast results!
Am I a Candidate for Whitening?
Not everyone will respond to whitening treatments, which is why a consultation with your dentist is a good idea. The treatments may not work for you for a number of reasons.
- If you have gray, brown, or other unusually stained teeth (treatment works best on yellow)
- If your teeth have become transparent due to aging
- If you are sensitive to peroxides or other chemicals in the whitening agent
- If you have extra-sensitive teeth or gums
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Whitening
There are a few possible side effects, such as increased sensitivity to cold or discomfort in the gums. A sore throat and white patches on the gum line can also occur. These side effects should all be temporary however if they persist consult your dentist.
Typically a patient can expect the treatment to last up to three years, but this will vary depending on the person’s habits. For example, if they smoke or eat or drink products that stain teeth, the time will be shorter.
Unfortunately, products such as veneers, dental bonding, crowns, caps, and fillings do not respond well to whitening products. They may need to be replaced if you would like them to appear whiter.
Whitening treatments do not work on artificial materials such as dentures. However, if yours are discolored or stained, your dental team can clean them for you.