Teeth whitening is a comparatively non-invasive cosmetic procedure that is on the leading edge of dentistry today. Whitening is the motivating factor behind many patients keeping up with their regular check-up appointments. We are all after a brighter, whiter, healthier smile because a brighter smile evokes youth, wellbeing and it makes us feel good. A smile is contagious and makes our daily experiences joyous and pleasing.
The Sacramento Dentistry Group is excited to share with you some facts about the ever-popular teeth whitening. You hear buzz about this cosmetic procedure from the television or read about it in popular magazines and on websites. These sources usually do not give you substantial information to determine whether this procedure is right for you. Thus, our dentists want to provide you with insight into the topic of teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening trays, strips, paint-on gels and toothpastes, toothbrushes, dental floss, chewing gum, and mouthwash have flooded the dental market. You have certainly seen or read at least some of the many advertisements about the different methods of teeth whitening and wondered what the difference is and which one is most effective. Although there are many ways you can whiten your teeth, there are different active ingredients and concentrations in each product that sets them apart from each other. As a general rule of thumb, you do not want to purchase any product that does not have the approval seal of the American Dental Association (ADA). There are set guidelines for the approved active ingredients and percentages set by the Food and Drug Administration and the ADA.
Important Steps Before You Whiten
More importantly, any type of whitening should begin with a consult with your dentist. To achieve the best possible results a dentist will make certain that your mouth and teeth are free of cavities, heavy plaque or calculus buildup, gum disease, or any other form of oral disease. Depending on the condition of your mouth, the dentist may recommend a cleaning or other treatment prior to whitening. The dentist will also discuss what level of whiteness you are seeking; whether it is a minor improvement of maybe 3-5 shades lighter, or more drastic results of 10-12 shades lighter.
The Recommended Procedures
If you are seeking quick and lasting results, the best approach is under direct supervision of your dentist. An in-office procedure offers the maximum strength with an immediate result and requires about an hour appointment. There is no faster way to whiten teeth (think about doing this before a wedding, prom, job interview, graduation, or even an important date). This in-office method is often highlighted on the TV makeover programs.
Another easy and gratifying procedure for whitening is the custom tray method. Simply fill the trays with the whitening material according to your dentist’s direction and have the whitening material in tight contact with your teeth for 1-8 hours a day. Depending on the concentration and brand type, the process typically takes 7-12 days. After this initial process, it is recommended to follow-up with “touch up” office whitening to maintain the same degree of whiteness. This is usually an annual maintenance procedure.
The best result is accomplished by combining in-office whitening with a follow-up using the take-home customized trays. This method is the most effective and is recommended by most dentists. The Sacramento Dentistry Group is ready to give your teeth the whitening procedure of your choice with the outcome you choose. If teeth whitening has been a dream of yours, we can start making it happen today!