Why Go to a Dentist for Teeth Whitening?
It’s no secret that in today’s market there are a ton of options available for whitening one’s teeth. A question that we hear much of the time is “why should I go to a dentist to have my teeth whitened?”. It’s a good question and we’re going to discuss that here.
First and foremost is that the whiteners used at an in-office whitening is going to be much stronger than any at home treatments. At and in-office visit, dentists are able to use whiteners that have more peroxide in them. More peroxide means that it’s going to brighten the color of your teeth faster than other products. We all love quicker results, right?
This type of treatment usually takes about an hour to perform. The dentist will cover the gums with a gel or a type of rubber to provide protection from the peroxide. Often times a laser or light will be used as well.
Our dentist can also provide you with the option of whitening your teeth at home. Home-use whiteners are provided by dentists or some can be purchased over the counter. The application of these will depend on what type you get. Whitening trays are one of the most common types provided by a dentist, however, some people prefer whitening strips. Some whiteners can also be applied with a brush or a rinse. It’s important to consider what would be the most comfortable application for yourself.
One of the benefits of going to a dentist to get a home-use whitening system is that your dentist can custom fit trays to your teeth. This will make for more comfortable wear as not everyone’s bites are the same. They’ll design a tray for your upper teeth and then one for your lower. Your dentist will then direct you on the proper time to wear your trays each day. Some people prefer to wear them at night and some like get their wear time in during the day. The whitening gel which goes into the trays contains peroxide so it’s important not to over wear the trays, otherwise the peroxide may cause irritation to the gum tissue.
We often get asked about whitening toothpastes. We believe that these are a good choice for every day dental care and use – although, these take much longer to have a noticeable effect of brightening the teeth. It could take weeks to notice a difference and typically the difference is not going to be near what a professional whitening system would provide.
One of the main side effects of using any type of teeth whitening system is tooth sensitivity. The teeth may become extremely sensitive to cold or hot temperatures when eating or drinking. This sensitivity should subside but it can be quite uncomfortable at the time. Another side effect that you have to be careful with is sensitivity to the gums. The peroxide contained in whitening treatments is very potent when it comes in contact with the gum tissue and may cause sensitivity or burning. It’s important to be aware of these side effects and to know how to avoid them if possible before putting any type of whitening treatment on your teeth.
These issues are also why we suggest going to an experienced dental expert to perform your whitening for you or to provide direction. A dentist knows how to avoid these side effects when able and will make it the most comfortable process possible.
Is Teeth Whitening for Everyone?
Not everyone is the perfect candidate for teeth whitening. We recommend visiting your dentist before performing any type of whitening system whether it be an in-office whitening or a do it yourself system that you get over the counter. This is so that your dentist can properly check the health of your teeth and gum tissues before applying these powerful solutions to them.
Gum disease is one of the things the dentist will look for because as mentioned previously in this article, teeth whitening solutions contain peroxide which can be quite harsh on the gum tissues should it come in contact with them. This doesn’t mean that you can not get your teeth whitened, but in most cases a dentist will want to treat the gum disease before going forward with the whitening.
There’s also some things that a whitening won’t be able to fix – like certain stains, crowns, or fillings. In these cases, veneers may be an option to look into. Sometimes a dentist will suggest putting a veneer over a stained tooth and then doing a whitening treatment on the surrounding teeth until they are the same whiteness as the veneer itself.
The good thing is that a dentist will be able to lay out all of your options and help lead you to a custom solution that is right for you.
How to Care for your Newly Whitened Teeth
It’s important to ask your dentist how to properly care for and maintain your newly whitened smile. Newly whitened teeth often stain easier than before so you’ll want to take precautions to combat that. Your dentist will recommend that for a few days after whitening you avoid food and drinks that are known to stain teeth for example, coffee. You’ll also want to avoid using tobacco products as they will be quick to stain your whitened smile.
Is this a Permanent Fix?
Getting your teeth whitened is not designed to be a permanent fix. Due to the everyday elements like eating and drinking, the teeth will begin to not be as white over time. Of course, the more careful you are of what you expose your teeth to on a daily basis, the longer you can maintain your pearly whites. It’s always a plus to ask your dentist what preventative measures you can be taking and what types of whitening toothpaste they recommend for every day care.
Here at our Bakersfield Dental Office, our experienced dentists and staff believe that everyone deserves to feel beautiful int heir smile. Make an appointment to see us today!