You really enjoyed your last vacation.
Maybe you and your family enjoyed a trip to an amusement park. Maybe you and your friends spent took a cruise. Maybe you took a long weekend to watch your favorite baseball team play a few games.
Whatever you did, you and your traveling companions probably took lots of pictures. It’s so easy nowadays to use the camera on your phone and share the pictures on social media.
That can be a blessing or a curse. It’s can be a great way to show your family and friends the fun things you are doing. It also may mean posting pictures of smile … and your yellow teeth.
You hadn’t really noticed it before, but now you know your “pearly whites” are so white anymore. You want to do something about it, but what should you do? Pick up some whitening toothpaste? Buy some of those strips from the store?
We honestly wish we could tell you that all whitening products will work equally well. That’s simply not the case, however.
Whitening toothpaste does an OK job on surface stains, but it isn’t going to get deep into your enamel to remove the set-in stains that have taken years or decades to develop.
To get those stains you need a whitening product that contains a bleaching agent. Typically, this means hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The strips and gels you can buy over the counter often do have one of these bleaching agents but at relatively low concentrations.
They can remove some deeper stains on your teeth. Because they are relatively weak, it may take much longer to remove those stains than you would like. This actually creates a risk of overuse, which can be harmful to your teeth and the soft tissues of your mouth.
Professional whitening treatments at a dentist office like ours are the safest and most effective ways to bring back your bright smile.
Professional products can be up to 11 times stronger than over-the-counter whitening products. This is why you can use them for less time and see better results. It’s also why you should only use them either under the supervision or as directed by a dental professional.
Start with a Consultation
We know it is tempting to go out, buy something, and use it. After all, it seems so simple.
The color of your teeth isn’t the only thing you should consider, however. Before a dental professional recommends whitening, he or she will first want to examine your smile.
If the effects are strictly the result of extrinsic stains, i.e. the kinds of stains that form after drinking coffee or tea or eating pasta, then whitening may work well for you.
But if you have existing or untreated cavities, whitening could be a problem. If you have crowns, whitening won’t work the same on your crown as it will on your natural teeth. This can leave different teeth looking different shades of white.
If you have intrinsic stains, then whitening won’t work as well for you. These discolorations are the result of trauma or the side effects of medication. In those situations, dental veneers are a better option. Veneers can conceal the appearance of those teeth so your smile looks brilliantly white.
See Your Smile in a New Light
We can help if you want your white, bright smile again. We can help you decide which whitening option is the right one for you.