Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve yours.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and regular dental cleanings. However, if you decide you would like to go beyond regular care to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your options.
Finding the Best Treatment for You
If you are interested in a brighter smile, please let us know so we can discuss which of the many options may work for you. Whiteners do not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish teeth will probably bleach well, brownish teeth may bleach less well, and grayish teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, whitening will not change the color of fillings or crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options, such as porcelain veneers or bonding. Please see our pages on these procedures for more information.
Tooth Whitening Treatments can include:
- KÖR whitening
- Professional teeth whitening in office
- At-home whitening only
- Whitening toothpaste
- Teeth whitening strips (i.e., Crest white strips)
When selecting a whitener, or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of acceptance, your assurance that a product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
KÖR whitening is a combined in-office and home teeth whitening system. It has been very successful for patients with severe discoloration, like tetracycline staining, and also for those patients who have sensitivity when using other whitening products. The procedure consists of having custom trays made with a special KÖR bleaching tray material. We will provide an in-office visit to professionally bleach your teeth, after which you will continue to bleach at home for two weeks. At the end of these two weeks, you will return for another in-office treatment. As teeth do yellow and pick up stain over time, you will keep the custom trays should you need to “touch up” with some bleach in the future.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is done in the chair at our office. Sometimes we refer to this as chair-side bleaching and it may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from sixty to ninety minutes.
During chair-side bleaching, we will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to your teeth and changed every 15-20 minutes. We often do this procedure in conjunction with at-home whitening as it gives us better long-term results.
At-Home Whitening System
There are several types of products available for use which can either be dispensed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. They include teeth whitening trays (mouthguards), strips, or paint-on products.
All toothpastes help remove surface stain from your teeth through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth. Please be aware that these whitening toothpastes can be very abrasive. We may not recommend that a person with gum recession use these toothpastes because it can wear aware root surfaces of the teeth and cause sensitivity.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips like Crest white strips, are thin, flexible plastic strips with a layer of hydrogen peroxide bleach on one side. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to insure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. Keep in mind the bleaching agent used in these strips is a lower concentration than professional bleach, so results may vary.
Want a brighter smile?
Please let us know so we can discuss your options.