All You Need To Know About Teeth Whitening
Written by Torrey Hills Dental
Do you want a brighter smile? Professional teeth whitening can make your teeth appear younger and brighter than ever before. But not all products for teeth whitening are created equal. Professional teeth whitening in Carmel Valley can give you the best results in the least amount of time.
Why Consider Teeth Whitening?
Whitening your smile helps your natural, healthy teeth look their very best. In many situations, whitening is a conservative option when you want to enhance your appearance without added cosmetic dentistry treatments. Removing years of stain or natural discoloration can boost your smile and self-confidence in as little as a day without a major financial investment!
Our Carmel Valley cosmetic dentist also recommends whitening your teeth before other aesthetic enhancements so that the newer restorations can be made to match your adjacent teeth. If you get crowns or white fillings and decide to bleach your teeth later on, those materials won’t respond to the whitening agents and may need to be replaced in order for them to match properly.
If you’re considering a smile makeover but want to start with the most conservative option available, teeth whitening is your best option.
Who Qualifies for Teeth Whitening?
Any adult or older teen with healthy teeth and gums can consider teeth whitening. However, our Carmel Valley dentist will first need to screen for active cavities, gum disease, or check for existing dental work in your “smile zone.” It’s important to keep in mind that existing fillings or crowns won’t respond to whitening products, so those teeth will likely stand out from the others.
Additionally, we do not recommend teeth whitening if you are currently nursing or breastfeeding.
What’s Involved in Teeth Whitening?
A professional whitening treatment usually brightens your smile by about 7-8 shades using a customized take-home kit or an in-office treatment (same-day procedure.)
Take Home Whitening: We’ll take impressions of your teeth to create a set of custom-molded bleaching trays. Then you’ll apply a small amount of concentrated whitening gel into each tooth reservoir and wear the trays as directed. During your initial whitening treatment, you’ll want to wear the trays once a day for 10-14 days. If you have sensitive teeth, you can whiten them every other day.
These trays ensure maximum contact with the whitening agent for even results across your smile (while using the least amount of product possible.) And unlike products you’ll find online or in stores, the gel is much more concentrated, providing more dramatic results.
In-Office Whitening: This single-visit procedure takes about an hour and a half to complete. We’ll polish off any surface stains, isolate your teeth, then apply a concentrated gel. A bright light activates the stain oxidation process to whiten your teeth. Then we rinse away the gel and re-apply it another 2-3 times as needed until we achieve the results we’re looking for.
Many of our in-office whitening patients also choose to get a take-home kit so that they can touch up their smile in the future and keep their teeth whiter, longer.
What About After Whitening?
If you’re using custom whitening trays, you can keep them for several years. If you run out of gel, stop by our office for a refill and touch-up throughout the year as needed (we recommend 2-3 applications after every six-month checkup.) If you drink a lot of coffee or tea, it may be necessary to use your kit more frequently.
Avoid things like dark liquids, tobacco products, or foods that might cause stains to build up more quickly. Red wine, coffee, tea, and soda are top offenders. Rinsing with water after meals or drinking through a straw can help reduce new stain buildup in the future.
Plan to schedule a professional cleaning every six months to remove surface stains and buildup that accumulate between visits.
Teeth Whitening in Carmel Valley
Torrey Hills Dental can help you choose the right teeth whitening option to improve your smile. Give us a call today!