Sometimes the smile that you have isn’t necessarily the smile that you want. Teeth that are stained, yellow, or just less-than-white aren’t necessarily unhealthy teeth, but they can make you feel self-conscious around others and less willing to show your full smile. Whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and online teeth whitening kits can only whiten your teeth so much, leaving with you no other option than to hide what you have.
All teeth whitening products work in the same basic way–bleaching chemicals applied to the teeth penetrate the porous enamel and break apart stains or discolorations through a chemical reaction. Professional teeth whitening treatments like those from Monarch Dental, however, use a higher concentration of stronger bleaching agents to get rid of very deep (intrinsic) and stubborn stains that are resistant to many over-the-counter whitening products.
Professional teeth whitening is available via two methods. You can receive dentist-supervised treatment with an in-office appointment or pick up a convenient–and custom-fitted–take-home teeth whitening kit. Here’s how each one works.
At-home teeth whitening kits are different from those found online or in retail stores because, not only do they use prescription-strength bleaching agents, but they also use trays that are custom-fitted to your teeth, ensuring the most even and effective distribution of the chemicals. Created from a mold the dentist takes of your mouth, the trays also help keep the whitening chemicals from coming in contact with your gums, tongue, or other oral tissue.
In-office teeth whitening–also called chairside or dentist-supervised whitening–is performed right in your dentist’s office and produces the best, fastest whitening results–up to 10 shades brighter in one appointment for some people!
During an in-office whitening appointment, prescription-strength bleaching agents are applied to your teeth. (To protect your gums and tongue, the dentist will place a cheek retractor in your mouth and use a liquid rubber dam to layer a protective gel over your gums.) Once the bleach has been applied, the dentist shines a UV light on your teeth to activate the chemicals and speed up the whitening. Then, the dentist will take a shade measurement to compare with one taken before the session to assess the results. To reach your desired shade, the process can be repeated one or two more times in one appointment, or over the course of several appointments.
A consultation with your dentist can help you decide which whitening treatment is best for your unique situation.
Before considering professional teeth whitening, be sure to schedule a cleaning first. During routine teeth cleanings, a dental hygienist uses special tools to scrape away tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth, sticky substances that can cause discoloration. The hygienist will also clean and polish your teeth with a strong toothpaste. For some people, a professional cleaning is enough to dramatically improve the appearance of their smile. For others, it’s just not enough. If you aren’t happy with what you see after a dental cleaning, talk to your dentist about your best options for whitening your teeth.
Teeth whitening is one of the most common procedures performed in dental offices outside of routine dental cleanings and is safe for most patients over the age of 16 and with good dental health. However, there are a number of reasons why your dentist may not recommend professional teeth whitening for you, at least for the time being.
Teeth whitening is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating.
While professional whitening treatment can yield dramatic results and dramatically improve confidence, you’ll still need to follow good oral hygiene to keep your new, whiter smile shining brightly. You may also need additional sessions in the future to maintain your desired shade. To get the most of of your whitening treatment, be sure to:
Because whitening treatments use chemicals to brighten your teeth, you may experience some temporary sensitivity in your gums or teeth to very hot or cold foods and beverages. You may also notice slight irritation on your gums, lips, or tongue–any sensitive oral tissue that may have accidentally come into contact with the bleaching agents. Any symptoms typically subside These symptoms within 48 hours of treatment, but if they last a little longer, you may need over-the-counter medication and/or sensitivity toothpaste to manage the discomfort.
Monarch Dental is your local, affordable choice for comprehensive dental services, including cosmetic dentistry procedures like professional teeth whitening. With multiple retail locations, flexible financing, and convenient scheduling options, Monarch Dental makes it easy for you to get the smile of your dreams. Find the Monarch Dental location nearest you and schedule a consultation today!