You care a lot about how your smile looks! One of the easiest ways to have a young and beautiful looking smile is to whiten your teeth. Have questions? Come in and talk to us about the options and what is best for you.
Are there different ways to whiten your teeth?
Yes, what we recommend are custom-made whitening trays that you wear at home. You control the time and strength of the whitening gel to get the results that you want. Most people whiten everyday for a week or two, then whiten a few days per year to keep up their new shade. Other options are non-custom over-the-counter whitening trays and strips or in-office whitening. The downside to the over-the-counter strips is that many people feel that they do not stick well to the teeth and are not comfortable to wear. The problem with the in-office high strength whitening is that gum irritation and severe tooth sensitivity can be a problem in some people.
Who can whiten?
Most people can safely whiten their teeth. We usually recommend that pregnant women and children not whiten because the gel has not been specifically studied in those groups, although it is likely safe. The most important consideration is whether you have fillings or crowns on your teeth already. Any filling or crown will NOT whiten. If you whiten your teeth, the filling or crown may not match your teeth any longer, making it stand out. You can always replace your crown or filling, but need to talk to us about this first.
If you are planning to get fillings, crowns, or replace old crowns and want to whiten first, you should! You need to plan to whiten for a week or two to get to a new whiter shade. Then you must WAIT for 5 or 6 weeks before proceeding with your new dental treatment because it takes this long for the shade to fully stabilize.
What about sensitive teeth?
Having sensitive teeth while whitening can be a problem. We can recommend things that you can do to prevent or reduce sensitivity. For example, you can wear desensitizing medication in your trays before you start whitening. You can decrease the strength of the gel or decrease the amount of time that you wear the trays. Also, not brushing your teeth right before whitening can help. See us if you need help!
How much does it cost?
Whitening is usually not covered by insurance, however we have ways to help you. We offer consultations if you want to come in and ask the dentist some questions. Ask us about payment options.