Everybody loves a bright, white smile, and there are a variety of ways to achieve it.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and regular cleanings at the dentist's office. However, if you decide you would like to go beyond regular care to make your smile look brighter, there are many options from which to choose.
Finding the Best Treatment for You
First, we'll be happy to share with you whether whitening would be effective for you. Teeth whitening does not work for everyone. For example, yellowish teeth will probably whiten well, brownish teeth may whiten less well, and grayish teeth may not whiten well at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options, such as porcelain veneers.
Teeth Whitening Treatments
- Professional tooth bleaching with your dentist
- At-home whitening system
- Whitening toothpaste
Professional Tooth Bleaching
Professional teeth whitening by your dentist is your best choice when you want quality, long-term results. There are a couple of professional ways to whiten teeth:
Take-home Teeth Whitening System
Our team will take impressions of your teeth and make two custom whitening "trays" that fit your teeth exactly that you can wear at night to whiten teeth while you sleep or during the day if you wish. The trays hold a tooth bleaching solution that will gently lighten the share of your teeth over a period of seven to fourteen days. Every few months you can "touch up" your whitening by wearing your custom whitening trays for a day or two to keep your teeth their whitest.
Chair-side Teeth Whitening
Come into our office for about an hour and leave with a white smile. During chair-side Zoom-whitening, a whitening agent is applied to your teeth and a special light is used to enhance the action of the agent. Chair-side tooth bleaching is great for those who want an immediate result. We also recommend custom take-home teeth whitening trays for all of our chair-side whitening patients so they can touch up their white smile any time and keep it at its brightest and best all the time.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side that can be purchased at the pharmacy or grocery store. Teeth whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary. Whitening strips contain a lower concentration of whitening agent than professional whitening procedures and are more difficult to use on all your teeth.
Paint-On Teeth Whitening
Paint-on teeth whitening allows you to apply a tooth bleaching agent directly to your teeth without an appliance or strip. You simply "paint" the whitener onto the surface of clean, dry teeth and wait about 30 minutes while the paint turns to a dry film. To remove this film, you simply brush your teeth with a toothbrush. Paint-on whitening products require twice-daily applications to be effective. The duration of treatment will vary and the agent is a lower concentration than professional procedures that whiten teeth.
Occasionally teeth whitening can have minor side-effects. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when the tooth bleaching solution is being used. Many patients benefit from a fluoride solution the dentist can provide that may lessen or eliminate the sensitivity. Some people also experience gum irritation, either from a tray that doesn't fit properly or from solution that may come in contact with the gums. Make sure to let us know if you have any problems or discomfort. In most cases, it can be taken care of immediately.
All toothpastes help remove surface stain from your teeth through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness and whiten teeth. Unlike professional whitening, these products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.
The best way to whiten teeth is with professional assistance from The Grapevine Dentist. Call us today to set a teeth whitening consultation!