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What is Teeth Whitening?

» 06 December 2013 » In Teeth Whitening »

teeth whitening

Teeth whitening has become very popular past few decades. Many men and women alike have tried whitening in some form or another. There are many methods of whitening ones teeth. Over-the-counter products include whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, and home whitening strips. However, a safe and successful way to get whiter teeth is to have it monitored and completed by a dental professional.

Teeth Whitening, Professionally by a Dentist, May Last For Years

Initially, it may seem that professional teeth whitening costs more than whitening at home. However, when you consider that the whitening effect of a professional dental method can last up to two years or longer, home kits typically last only a few months; it may be more economical to spend money for the professional method. For best results, patients should attempt to avoid foods and drinks that may re-stain the teeth such as red wine, coffee, tea, and certain sauces. Also, patients that don’t smoke typically achieve better results.

Some People Should Avoid Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is not necessarily for everyone. People who may not be good candidates for teeth whitening include:

• Pregnant and nursing women
• Children under 16
• Those with receding gum lines

Those with anterior crowns or bridges may not be able to have their teeth whitened as porcelain will not whiten as natural teeth do. A dentist can help a patient determine if whitening would be a good choice for improving their smile.

Dental Check-Ups Before Whitening

It is important for a dentist to be able to treat any dental issues a patient may have before they whiten their teeth. Teeth that are going to be whitened need to be healthy and clean. If a patient has cavities, the bleaching agent may create sensitivity with those cavity areas and make whitening difficult. If a patient’s gums are receding, whitening may irritate those areas resulting in more sensitivity with the teeth. A complete examination and cleaning should be completed by a dentist prior to whitening. It would be favorable and result in a better whitening experience if cavities and gum issues be corrected prior to the whitening procedure.

Teeth Whitening, professionally with a Dentist, vs “Over-the-Counter” Home Whitening Kits

Many dentists use “light accelerated” whitening. This is completed with a high intensity light that accelerates the effect of the bleaching agent. While some home whitening kits do come with handheld lights, these are not as effective as those used by dental offices. Also, dental offices may have higher concentrations of whitening gel that is stronger and may give better results than the gel found in home whitening kits. Dentists also have the ability to determine and materials to protect the gums, if necessary, during the whitening process.

Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening with a Dentist

Sometimes, teeth whitening may be completed in a single visit in a dentist office. Home whitening kits require the whitening completed daily for a period of usually two weeks. It is suggested for best results to repeat this process every 3-6 months. When comparing professional dental whitening with that of a “home” kit, it may be more cost effective to choose the professional dental whitening as opposed to the home whitening which may involve several applications during a 6-12 month period. Dentists have a better diagnostic ability to determine the best option and materials to whiten teeth in the safest and economical method for the best results and a more beautiful smile. Another important benefit is that a dental office can offer protection to the gum tissue, if needed, during the whitening process.

While many products promise and offer claims of whiter teeth, most are not as effective as a professional teeth whitening by a licensed general dentist. As a Dallas Texas dentist, Dr. Miller can provide a safe and successful experience for those who want a whiter more beautiful smile.


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