Some people look in the mirror and realize that their teeth are not as white as they used to be. They may appear yellow or stained. This could be due to coffee, cigarettes, tobacco products, or other conditions that have contributed that a smile that is not as bright as they would like. This can lead to embarrassment, loss of confidence, and decreased self-esteem.
A Whiter, Brighter Smile
Teeth whitening used to be an expensive, potentially damaging and painful process. Fortunately, whitening products have evolved significantly and offer painless, safe, easy products and procedures for whiter smiles. Teeth whitening treatment may be performed on adults of any age.
Step one is to start with a healthy mouth. If a patient does not have healthy teeth and gums, any whitening procedure could cause complications to already compromised conditions. Schedule a regular cleaning, check-up, and take care of any oral health issues prior to considering teeth whitening. This will yield the best results.
Once it is determined that the patient’s dental health is not compromised and that whitening is a safe consideration, a consultation regarding expectations, cost, options, color improvement, and plan will take place. Please note that severely discolored teeth may require veneers or crowns to achieve a whiter smile.
At-Home Whitening Options
Over-the-counter options are readily available, cost less than in-office whitening, but will yield less dramatic results and take a much longer treatment period. Options from your dentist are stronger and will provide faster, noticeable results in a shorter time.
In the office, a patient’s gums are protected from the stronger whitening agents that are used in the procedure. The materials are so strong that some patients can achieve up to ten shades whiter in a single hour of treatment. Depending on the type of treatment used, one to three sessions may be required to reach the desired shade. The dentist applies the whitening gel and a light or laser activates the gel for accelerated bleaching.
Follow up at home is suggested to maintain the bright, white results. Your dentist will provide you with the best means for ongoing treatment. First, an impression of your teeth is made so that custom trays for your individual teeth are created. These thin trays will hold bleaching material evenly distributed across your teeth during treatment. Your dentist will also provide you with a lower strength bleaching gel and instructions on when and how to use it with the trays. Additional gel is available for these periodic touch-ups in the office. Continuation of behaviors that caused the initial yellowing or discoloration will likely result in teeth becoming yellow or stained again. To maintain the confident, whiter smile, improved diet and behaviors that contribute to healthy oral hygiene are encouraged.
Restore your white smile and the confidence that goes with it. Whether you are on a date, a job interview, or a social event, feel free to smile without covering your mouth. You may be surprised at the reactions of everyone around you when they see your healthy, whiter smile!