A bright and dazzling smile is something that everyone desires, but it’s not always easy to achieve. Stained or discolored teeth can be a source of embarrassment and self-consciousness, affecting your confidence in social and professional situations. Fortunately, modern dentistry has made it possible to achieve a sparkling smile through a variety of teeth whitening treatments. From in-office procedures to at-home kits, there are numerous options available to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. So why wait? Let’s explore the world of teeth whitening and discover how you can unlock the power of a brighter smile!
What is professional teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves removing stains and discoloration from the surface of the teeth to create a brighter, more radiant smile. This process can be done in a variety of ways, such as through the use of specialized toothpaste, at-home whitening kits, or in-office treatments performed by a dental professional. While teeth whitening is primarily done for aesthetic purposes, it can also help to improve overall dental hygiene by encouraging patients to take better care of their teeth. If you’re looking to achieve a more confident and radiant smile, teeth whitening may be the solution you’ve been searching for.
What are the different kinds of teeth whitening products available?
Teeth can become discolored over time due to aging, consuming certain foods and drinks, smoking, or poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, there are several teeth whitening methods available to restore a brighter, more youthful smile:
In-office teeth whitening is a professional whitening method that is done in a dental office. This method involves applying a high-concentration bleaching gel to the teeth and using a special light or laser to activate the gel. This method can whiten teeth up to eight shades in a single one-hour session. In-office whitening is the most effective and fastest teeth whitening method available. This is because the dentist is able to use stronger bleaching agents than those found in at-home kits, and the light or laser helps to speed up the process. Additionally, in-office whitening is performed under the supervision of a dentist, ensuring that the procedure is safe and effective.
Professional at-home Whitening Kits
Professional at-home whitening kits are provided by a dentist and involve using whitening trays or whitening strips at home. The whitening gel used in these kits is typically less concentrated than in-office whitening, and results may take several weeks to achieve. However, these kits are more affordable and convenient for those who cannot schedule an in-office whitening appointment. The trays or strips are custom-made to fit each individual’s teeth, ensuring that the gel is applied evenly and effectively. Additionally, the supervision of a dentist ensures that the procedure is safe and effective.
Over the Counter Whitening Kits
Over the counter whitening kits are available at drugstores and supermarkets and are the most affordable option for teeth whitening. These kits typically include whitening strips, pens or trays and a lower concentration of bleaching agent than professional at-home kits. However, they are not custom-made to fit each individual’s teeth, which can result in uneven application of the gel. Additionally, there is no supervision from a dentist, which can increase the risk of side effects such as sensitivity or damage to the gums.
It is important to note that all teeth whitening methods have potential side effects, such as sensitivity or irritation of the gums. It is important to consult with a dentist before beginning any teeth whitening treatment and to follow the instructions provided with the whitening kit to avoid overuse of the product, which can cause further damage to the teeth and gums.
What are the side effects of overbleaching your teeth?
Over-bleaching your teeth can result in bleachorexia or “whitening addiction.” This condition occurs when individuals become obsessed with achieving perfectly white teeth and engage in excessive or unnecessary teeth whitening treatments. Over-bleaching your teeth can lead to a variety of side effects that can be both uncomfortable and damaging to your oral health. Here are some of the most common side effects of over-bleaching:
- Tooth sensitivity: Over-bleaching can cause the teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Gum irritation: Over-bleaching can irritate the gums, causing inflammation and discomfort.
- Enamel damage: Over-bleaching can damage the protective enamel layer of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity.
- Uneven results: Over-bleaching can cause the teeth to become unevenly colored, with some areas appearing lighter than others.
- Nerve damage: Over-bleaching can damage the nerves in the teeth, leading to increased sensitivity and discomfort.
To avoid these side effects, it is important to follow the instructions provided with your teeth whitening products and to avoid overuse. Consult with a dental professional before beginning any teeth whitening treatment to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
What to expect during professional chairside teeth whitening
Professional teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can help to brighten and enhance the appearance of your smile. Here is what to expect during a professional teeth whitening procedure:
Expect a Consultation
Your dentist will begin by examining your teeth and discussing your expectations for the treatment.
Expect Pre-treatment Cleaning
Your dentist will clean your teeth to remove any debris or plaque that may interfere with the whitening process.
Expect Application of Whitening Agent
Your dentist will apply a whitening agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, to your teeth.
Activation of the Whitening Agent
Depending on the type of whitening agent used, your dentist may use a special light or laser to activate the agent and speed up the whitening process.
Your dentist may apply the whitening agent multiple times to achieve the desired level of whitening.
Evaluation of Results
Once the whitening process is complete, your dentist will evaluate the results and compare them to your initial shade to determine the level of improvement.
Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods and drinks for a period of time after the treatment to help maintain the results.
Tips on managing tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste before and after teeth whitening treatments.
- Avoid hot or cold drinks and food for a few hours after teeth whitening.
- Use a straw when drinking acidic beverages to prevent them from coming into contact with your teeth.
- Avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and vinegar.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent further irritation to sensitive teeth.
- Avoid aggressive brushing and use a gentle circular motion instead.
- Take pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve sensitivity.
- Avoid using teeth whitening products too frequently.
- Consult with your dentist if your teeth sensitivity persists for more than a few days after teeth whitening.
ADDITIONAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PROFESSIONAL TEETH WHITENING
How many shades lighter can I expect my teeth to become after a professional teeth whitening treatment?
The degree of whitening varies from person to person, but most people can expect to see their teeth become 2-8 shades lighter.
How long does a professional teeth whitening treatment typically take?
A professional teeth whitening treatment typically takes around 60-90 minutes to complete.
Can children whiten their teeth?
Teeth whitening is generally not recommended for children under the age of 16, as their teeth and gums are still developing.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Teeth whitening is generally considered safe when performed under the supervision of a dental professional. However, overuse or misuse of whitening products can lead to negative side effects.
Is there a dentist near me in Lawrence, MA that offers professional teeth whitening?
Yes. At our Lawrence, MA dental office we offer professional teeth whitening to patients from Lawrence, MA and the surrounding area. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.