Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures and for good reason. Your smile is the first thing people see, so why not be sure yours is one they remember for all the right reasons?
Our teeth, just like our bodies and other aspects of our physical appearance, can show signs of aging. Habits such as smoking can discolor our teeth, but they can also become discolored from foods and beverages we consume and even certain medications. And for some people, their genetics can even play a role in how their teeth look.
So, if you aren’t happy with the color of your teeth, and aren’t looking for a procedure such as veneers, what can you do? The safest, easiest and least expensive way to get a brighter smile is through teeth whitening.
How does professional teeth whitening work?
Essentially, our cosmetic dentists are bleaching your teeth to the desired whiteness. The bleaching chemicals we use are able to penetrate your enamel, creating a reaction known as oxidation. This works to break apart the stains that have penetrated your teeth, resulting in a whiter smile.
Our dentists perform this procedure every day, and the chemicals they use are stronger than those you can find in over-the-counter products. This provides a brighter smile than you can achieve on your own, but also ensures your teeth are properly taken care of. While stronger, our bleaching compounds are also specially formulated to ensure your teeth will not be left feeling too sensitive after the procedure.
What is the in-office whitening procedure?
We begin by gently cleaning your teeth. A pumice helps us ensure your teeth are ready. We will use a barrier to protect your gums and then apply a paste made containing hydrogen peroxide. This is left on for several minutes and then rinsed off. We re-apply the paste as needed to ensure your ideal shade of white. In as little as 40 minutes, you can see a noticeable difference in your smile. In fact, we can achieve four to six shades whiter teeth in only one office visit.
Are at-home whitening options available?
If you would rather a more gradual whitening process that can take place in the comfort of your home, we also offer tray whitening. We will create custom mouth trays, designed to fit perfectly against your smile. A professional whitening gel is applied into the trays, and you wear the trays for a set amount of time, either during the day or overnight. While many people will see whiter teeth in a matter of only one or two weeks, those with more stubborn stains may need to wear their trays for up to six weeks.
Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?
The best way to determine if you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening is to schedule a consultation with one of our cosmetic dentistry experts. While teeth whitening is a safe and simple procedure, it may not be the most ideal treatment for some patients. If you have sensitive teeth, softer tooth enamel, or any dental erosion, teeth whitening may not be the ideal solution for you.
How long will my results last?
With proper care, your whiter smile can last up to two or three years. To ensure your smile lasts as long as possible, avoid foods and beverages that can stain your smile, as well as avoiding bad habits, such as tobacco use.