For most of us, when our fist tooth erupted, it was beautifully white! The others followed and soon we had that sparkling white smile. Then something happened… we grew up and our teeth took on the stains that only life can bring. So what can you do now to help get your teeth back to their natural color? Well, regular cleanings and checkups are your first step. Combine them with a professional whitening treatment and you’re on your way!
Whitening treatments use gels of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove stains. Professional whitening treatments use concentrations of these chemicals that are higher than those found over the counter. The difference results in faster, greater, and more cost effective treatments.
Unfortunately, some people are not good candidates for whitening. So having an oral exam before you begin any whitening process is always a good idea. Some tooth discoloration cannot be changed with whitening solutions. Some tooth discoloration is a sign that a more important dental procedure is necessary. Some people have teeth that are too sensitive for bleaching.
Most whitening treatments these days are “take-home.” Custom-fit trays are made and a two-week supply of gel is received. You’ll wear the trays for 45 minutes to one hour. When completed, you’ll have the trays for necessary touch-ups. Some treatment is “in-office.” The benefit of this type of treatment is that it’s over in about an hour. The downside is that it typically costs 5-6 times more than the take-home and the results are no better or worse.
At Sunset Tower Family Dentistry, we offer the “Brighter Smiles for Life” program. You’ll pay a one-time low fee for trays and two week supply of professional strength gel. Then, every time you come in for your regularly scheduled cleaning, you’ll receive a free tube of high-strength gel for touch up!
Always remember that your teeth can only be made as white as nature intended. So if you have questions or are not sure whitening is right for you, just ask your hygienist or Dr. Degnen!