What You Should Know About Teeth Whitening January 28, 2014
Everyone loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours! The best place to start is with a healthy mouth.
Begin with a Dental Checkup
Your dentist can diagnose and treat any pressing oral health conditions and determine which whitening procedure will work for you. Once the dentist determines the reason for discoloration – injury, food or tobacco stains, childhood or teen antibiotics – a suitable whitening method can be selected. Without this you could be wasting time and money using whitening products that aren’t effective for your kind of stain.
Have Your Whitening Done in a Clean and Safe Environment
Teeth whitening chemicals if not applied properly can damage your teeth and gums resulting in burns or infections, and “kiosk” whitenings are done by people wearing “scrubs” or laboratory coats who are made to look like “health care professionals”, but aren’t. Dental offices use licensed professionals and strict disinfection protocol including washing hands, changing examination gloves and disinfecting work surfaces after each patient.
Choosing the Right Procedure
There are three ways to whiten your smile: 1)Chairside Bleaching, 2) At–Home Bleaching and 3) Whitening Toothpastes. After examination, your dentist will offer you the option of either 1 or 2 because the 3rd choice, Whitening toothpastes are not as effective but are frequently prescribed as an after treatment way of maintaining your whiteness.
Teeth Whitening via Chairside Bleaching
This treatment uses a concentrated form of peroxide and requires the application of a “rubber shield” to protect your soft tissues (lips, gums, etc.) prior to active whitening. A special light and/or laser will be used to enhance the whitening process (i.e. Zoom Whitening Systems). Chairside Bleaching has the advantage of allowing multiple applications to remove the more stubborn stains in your mouth.
Teeth Whitening via At-Home Bleaching
These products are gels or strips containing different concentrations of carbamide peroxide (10%, 16%, 22%). The gels are most effective and used with custom-fitted mouth guards which hold the gels against the teeth while during whitening. Usually they are worn overnight for 1-2 weeks. They are less concentrated than the Chairside gels and usually don’t cause as much irritation, but the process for whitening does take longer. The percentage of gel selected depends on many factors including the type of stain being removed, the thickness of your enamel, the condition of your gums, and the “color” of your teeth just to name a few.
For Best Results – Have a cleaning before your whitening. You’ll have a Brighter Whiter Smile!