Everyone deserves a beautiful, white, and healthy smile. Teeth whitening can make that possible for anyone with stained or discolored teeth. To make the decision to have your teeth whitened more of a no-brainer, we’ve put together 10 questions we get asked about this cosmetic dental procedure. We hope it gives you all the answers you’ve been looking for… and more.
For the most part, anyone with healthy teeth and gums who would like a brighter smile can benefit from professional teeth whitening treatments. Adults are typically the best candidates for the treatment because they have years of stains and the tooth pulp has fully formed, which reduces sensitivity levels. Your child may also be eligible for whitening treatments, but they must have all their permanent, fully calcified enamels, and need to have completed any necessary orthodontic treatment.
It’s always best to have plaque and tartar out of the way before receiving whitening treatments. Once you get a dental cleaning, the whitening agent has a better chance of penetrating the enamel to lift stains more effectively. That’s why dentists recommend getting a cleaning before whitening your teeth—you can even schedule both services in one appointment!
The bleaching agent used during teeth whitening doesn’t change the color of dental devices like dentures, fillings, crowns, and veneers. Should you then whiten your teeth, you may need to replace existing dental restorations to match the new tooth shade on your natural teeth. This is why it’s a good idea to check with your dental professional before beginning any course of tooth whitening.
While the teeth whitening solutions at First Dental Associates can help lighten your teeth anywhere from six to 12 shades on the whitening shade guide, there’s no guarantee that you’ll achieve the same results. Because everyone’s teeth are so individual, how white your teeth will get depends on genetics, dental health, and how discolored your teeth are.
Generally, in-office whitening treatments at our Reading office take under 90 minutes to complete. If your schedule is a little tight and you can’t find an ideal time to fit in a whitening appointment, our dentists can create customized at-home whitening trays for you to use for as little as once every few months or several times a week until you achieve your smile makeover goals.
Unlike store-bought whitening treatments that take one or two weeks of use before you see results, with professional whitening services, you’ll notice a vast improvement in the color of your teeth immediately after the treatment. You’ll see the full effect of the whitening treatment after the first 24 hours. Since at-home whitening trays made by a dentist use a lower concentration of bleaching agents, it may take you two to three weeks to safely achieve the shade you are looking for.
Sadly, teeth whitening results don’t last forever. With proper care, however, you can maintain the whiteness of your teeth for up to one year or longer before needing another whitening treatment or touch-up. One way to prolong the whiteness of your teeth is to schedule regular dental cleanings. Your dentist can clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can do alone with your toothbrush and floss.
Extensive research on the use of peroxide-based bleaching agents as a teeth whitening solution shows that it is safe and effective when done under careful dental supervision. Nonetheless, some patients may experience mild tooth sensitivity, and—even more rarely—a minor tingling in the gums. These symptoms often quickly dissipate and the use of an anti-sensitivity toothpaste prior to treatment can help lessen any after-treatment discomfort.
Dentists normally recommend whitening your teeth, be it at home or professionally, not more than twice a year. Overdoing it can lead to hypersensitivity and even make the teeth appear translucent. With in-office treatments, a yearly whitening treatment with touch-ups at home in between should help you maintain your bright, white smile.
If you pit in-office teeth whitening against other teeth whitening approaches, you’ll find that the alternatives pale in comparison. Whitening done at the dentist’s office is much safer and produces better, longer-lasting results.
First Dental Associates provides cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening to residents of Reading, MA, and its environs. We’d love to play a role in your smile makeover and to make that happen, all you have to do is schedule an appointment with us. A whiter, brighter smile is just one visit away!