No level of confidence compares to the feeling of having a bright shining smile! We all want a sparkling smile. Having white teeth (or pearly whites as some call them) is the same as having nice clothing and a clean haircut. Bright teeth can help you stand out from the crowd. And, like it or not, it’s one of the first things people notice about you.
For some people, having the perfect smile is so important that they spend thousands of dollars on cosmetic procedures. But, these cases are extreme and most people spend far less than that. Many people have teeth that don’t need to be realigned any further. They just need to whiten them.
Teeth whitening procedures are very simple, and some can even be used at home. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do to take your teeth from dull to dazzling.
1. Laser Teeth Whitening
Laser whitening is one of the most common tooth whitening procedures that people seek. Its popularity stems from the fact that it can whiten teeth by several shades in under an hour.
While the name may suggest that the laser itself is what is whitening your teeth, this isn’t entirely true. The teeth are soaked in a chemical that has a whitening agent present. The laser itself is what activates the whitening agent. The longer the patient maintains exposure to the laser, the whiter their teeth will get.
The dental professional will place a form of plastic protection over the lips and gums. He or she will also cover the patient’s eyes. This is to prevent any discomfort or injury to the patient during the procedure.
But, it’s important to remember that laser procedures can’t do anything for veneers or crowns. Only natural teeth will become whiter when exposed to the laser treatment. It’s important to disclose to the dental professional if you have a crown or veneer. Otherwise, those teeth will remain the same color while the other teeth become brighter.
Laser whitening is a good option for people who wish to see fast results. The American Dental Association also approves it as a safe procedure, so those concerned about the effects of laser treatment don’t need to worry. However, you will want to keep in mind is that this procedure can be costly if you have significant discoloration throughout your teeth. If you are simply looking for a touchup, there are better alternatives.
2. Gel Whitening
Gel whitening is unique because the person whitening their teeth can utilize the treatment at home. However, many people prefer to leave this procedure to a professional so that they can be sure to maximize results. This will also ensure the treatment is completed as safely as possible.
For this procedure, you’ll place a plastic tray (similar to a mouthgard) filled with whitening gel in your mouth. The active ingredient in this gel is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both ingredients have similar functions, but neither has an advantage over the other.
As previously mentioned, it’s possible to complete this procedure at home but this requires following extensive instructions. If you feel confident you can complete the treatment on your own, then it can be one of the most convenient teeth whitening procedures.
While patients generally have no issue with gel whitening, some may experience tooth sensitivity. This issue can be circumvented by wearing the mouthpiece for set intervals rather than the total suggested time. Compared to laser whitening, this procedure is less expensive, making it a great option for those on a budget.
3. Internal Bleaching
As you can assume from the name, this procedure involves whitening the teeth from the inside out. Thus, it is rather unconventional compared to other teeth whitening procedures. Due to the level of involvement that is required for this procedure, only patients who are in need of a root canal are able to undergo internal bleaching. Internal bleaching is also only used to treat problematic teeth and not the entire mouth.
Compared to other treatment options, Internal bleaching is more thorough. Thus, this may be off-putting to some potential patients. But, if you’re in need of a root canal anyway, it will help restore any discoloration that may have occurred. Although the tooth is bleached from the inside out to give it a whiter appearance, it can still be stained. You must treat the bleached tooth like your normal teeth, in terms of preventing discoloration.
How to Keep Your Teeth White After Whitening
Certain drinks are notorious for staining your enamel. These include sodas, wines, and dark juices. Drinking these fluids through a straw or rinsing your mouth with water after you have finished them can help mitigate their staining effects.
Unfortunately, one of the most common drinks to stain teeth is one that many of us can’t live without – Coffee! Most people won’t give up coffee, but it really isn’t necessary. Simple tricks such as adding milk, drinking through a straw, and drinking your coffee quickly will all help cut down on how much it stains your enamel over time.
Tobacco is another culprit to blame for stained teeth. Other than abstaining from using it, there isn’t much else you can do.
Last, but certainly not least, practicing good dental hygiene is a great way to make sure your teeth stay glistening. This includes daily brushing, flossing, and having your teeth cleaned at the dentist every six months. By following these tips, you’ll make sure your teeth maintain their brightness after teeth whitening procedures. Otherwise, all that work will have been for nothing!
Consider Teeth Whitening Procedures If…
Your teeth are stained or you’d simply like to improve your confidence with a brighter smile. After all, your smile is one of your most defining characteristics (especially during a first impression)! People who whiten their teeth also tend to have better long-term dental hygiene, because they are encouraged to form good habits to preserve their teeth white.
Fortunately, Dr. Elizabeth Perez is one of the leading providers of teeth whitening in Brandon. If you are looking to enhance your smile with whiter teeth, we encourage you to contact our office and ask about our teeth whitening specials!