Ideal candidates have healthy teeth. If you have cavities or periodontal (gum) disease, teeth whitening can cause severe sensitivity and further damage your teeth. It’s essential to get your teeth and gums healthy before any type of whitening is done!
Ideal candidates are also non-smokers. Smoking can stain the teeth, not just superficially but deep within the tooth enamel. The results of teeth whitening won’t last nearly as long or be as effective for smokers. However, for smokers who have quit or are in the process of quitting, whitening is a great way to get rid of the stains!
Patients who consume large amounts of coffee, tea, red wine, or juices tend to have heavier staining from the pigmentation of the liquids. Professional teeth whitening is a great way to reduce stains of these liquids, but it’s important to try to cut back on them for the whitening to last longer (or use a straw to help them bypass the teeth!).
For patients who have sensitive teeth, there are various options to make teeth whitening safe and effective. The strength and application time of the whitening agent can be altered to address each individual’s needs. A higher concentration works more quickly and has stronger results, but it may also cause greater tooth sensitivity for a few days following treatment. During your consultation, Dr. Whitman will discuss all your options with you based on your level of sensitivity.
Professional whitening can remove stains, including stains from food and beverages and yellowing that often occurs with age. Whitening can make your teeth lighter and brighter, but remember that the natural color of teeth is not truly white. Whitening can give you brighter, younger-looking teeth.
No. Whitening only works on natural teeth. If you are planning to have dental work like veneers, crowns or a bridge, you could have a whitening first, and then choose the shade for your dental work to match your newly whitened natural teeth.
In order to keep the wonderful results of professional whitening, it’s important to use your take-home kit for maintenance. This will be provided to you during your teeth whitening appointment.
If you don’t think you can stick with a routine or commit to maintaining your teeth whitening procedure over time, then it would be a waste of time and money to do the professional whitening, unless you want your teeth whitened for a specific upcoming occasion.
There are over-the-counter (OTC) options that can help keep your smile white post-procedure, such as whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, and mouthwashes, as well as electric toothbrushes.
Of course, the outcome of OTC products won’t be nearly as dramatic as professional whitening systems due to the low concentration of the whitening agents. However, they may be a better option for patients who don’t want to commit to maintaining a professional teeth whitening over time.
Remember to ask us about how you can keep your smile white when you come in for your next appointment!