Do you want a brighter smile? We all do.
Whiter teeth can lead to greater success at work. This is due to better confidence in applicants and an improved perception by others. Whiter teeth is a sign of trustworthiness to others.
Here’s the thing though: not everyone has white teeth. Whether it is due to your smoking habits, diet or plain neglect, pearly white choppers are not the norm.
Do you need whiter teeth? We have a solution to that, and it’s teeth whitening.
If you plan on getting professional teeth whitening, read this. You need to learn what to expect first to get the best results:
Best Teeth Whitening Preparations
Let’s discuss preparation first. Pre-checkup is normal to correct any other problems first.
In the pre-check session, your dentist will provide some recommendations. This may include a cleaning session.
If you have current problems in your mouth like sores, you might even have to postpone. Any problem in your mouth area can lead to pain once the dentist applies hydrogen peroxide gel.
Also, not everyone is eligible for teeth whitening. You need to have healthy, unrestored teeth with no fillings and healthy gums. If your teeth are yellowish, you may get the noticeable results.
You would also want to consider the cost of the procedure. Teeth whitening cost varies depending on the type of work your dentist will do on your teeth. Every brand of the procedure varies in cost.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
Before anything else, you need to know who doesn’t qualify for teeth whitening. Some people might not benefit from the process and others could be at risk. Some of the latter include children too young, as well as pregnant women:
- Children Below 16 and Pregnant Women
Whitening is not for children aged 16 and below, due to the enlarged pulp chamber/nerve of the tooth. This can receive irritation or cause sensitivity. Teeth whitening treatments are also not for pregnant and lactating women.
- People With Fillings, Crowns and Restorations
Fillings and resin compounds do not whiten. This means if you use even the best teeth whitening products, they will have an uneven color compared to your actual teeth.
If you have not done any procedure on your teeth but plan on having one in the future, here’s a tip. It’s best to get the whitening done first, then have your fillings done. Give the whitening procedure two weeks before having any repair work added.
- Sensitive Teeth and Product Allergies
People who have defective restorations or have a natural sensitivity on their teeth should take precaution before any whitening process. If you have hydrogen peroxide allergies, you should not undergo the procedure.
- Damaged or Decayed Teeth, Cavities
People who have damaged or decaying teeth should not undergo whitening. The procedure can cause pain and sensitivity. If you have cavities, it’s best to have them worked before the process.
- Too High Expectations
It’s best to remember that even the best professional teeth whitening can’t provide new, pearly white teeth. Results vary from person to person, depending on their conditions and their habits.
Smokers will not get the best results if they continue to smoke after the procedure, as well. The most reasonable color to expect in teeth should be a few shades whiter than the white of your eyes.
Best Teeth Whitening Products
With that out of the way, let’s discuss which whitening products/services are the most ideal. Not all of them are the same, after all. Some come with their own sets of pros and cons.
- Teeth Bleaching
Teeth bleaching is an at home or in-office procedure. It uses a whitening solution to lighten your teeth. This happens through an assessment process and the use of a custom mouth tray.
Your dental expert will then provide you with the necessary materials to do it at home. You can also do this with in-office sessions.
- Laser Bleaching
Laser bleaching is an in-office procedure. It’s regarded as one of the best professional teeth whitening procedures on the market.
During the session, your dentist will apply a bleaching gel and bombard it with laser or UV. This will activate the product and penetrate the teeth. This tends to be one of the quickest methods available, with results as fast as one whitening session.
- Britesmile Teeth Whitening
The Britesmile method is a branded process teeth whitening. It uses proprietary products to achieve whitening.
The product consists of a whitening gel and a special light to activate the process. A single, in-office session followed by a home-kit is the norm for maintenance.
Things to Expect During a Teeth Whitening Session
The best professional teeth whitening processes follow a general direction. Doctors will use a bleaching agent that they will apply on the teeth itself. This contains hydrogen peroxide – a potent chemical that breaks down colors in compounds.
The whitening process happens through the dehydration of your teeth. Since hydrogen peroxide requires water to work, it will take as much water in your teeth to break down stains.
- Prepping the Teeth
Your dentist will insert a cheek retractor that will reveal all your teeth’s aesthetic zones. These are the parts of the teeth visible when you smile.
Once done, your dentist will add a hardening resin to the gum tissue. This prevents any irritation that the bleaching agent can do.
- Adding the Bleach
The dentist will then add bleaching gel into the aesthetic zone of your mouth. This gel will contain a percentage of hydrogen peroxide – the active ingredient in any bleaching process. The material will then stay for 15 to 30 mins.
When the time is up, your dental professional will suction the gel or wash it off. They will apply new gel and rerun the process for 15 to 30 mins.
Depending on the procedure, your dentist may beam intense UV or laser light on your mouth. This will activate the gel material further and enhance the process.
Between the applications, the best teeth whitening professionals will check if whitening happens. This determines how many applications of the bleaching gel you need.
- Gel Removal and Teeth Check
Once your dentist drains the final batch of bleaching gel, they will remove the cheek retractor. They will then provide a post-rinse to clear any debris and excess material that may remain.
After rinsing, your dentist will check the shade improvement in your teeth. The average shade is between 2 to 3, which as high as 8 shades in some cases. There are 16 levels of shade that are available.
To meet your shade “goal”, your dentist may recommend an extra session or two on a future date. They may also support continuing the procedure at home with an at-home kit.
What To Do After Teeth Whitening Sessions
Done with the process? Here’s a quick look at the things you need to do to make sure you don’t harm your teeth and how to maintain your new smile.
- Avoid Staining Food
After the best teeth whitening procedures, steer away from any food that may stain your teeth. These foods include soda, coffee, tea, wine, and even smoking. Smoking is the worst offender and may have adverse effects on your choppers.
- Use the Best Teeth Whitening Products at Home
To get the most out of your sessions, continue using the best teeth whitening products at home. Talk to your dental professional and ask for their recommendations.
If you’re not sure what kits to use, there are at-home kits like chewing gum and dental strips that can help. For example, whitening chewing gum can protect your teeth by removing food residue. Whitening strips have the same active ingredients as bleaching gels but are lighter.
- Wait for Your Teeth to Rehydrate
You will want to wait up to two weeks to decide if you’re going for another whitening session. Apart from the teeth whitening cost, your teeth will only show proper color within two weeks. These days are crucial as your teeth get its original mask back.
Once your teeth recover, look at them. You may see a slight rebound in color, at most a shade darker. It will still be whiter than before, but due to the rehydration process, the real shade level will show up.
- Ask for Meds if Needed
If you are experiencing problems like tooth sensitivity, request for an anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth should also help.
- Consider Other Dental Options
If there’s still dark stains that are too strong to whiten, consider other options for your teeth. Treatments like veneers and crowns are a viable option.
What To Remember With Professional Teeth Whitening
It’s important to consider all possibilities when opting for the best teeth whitening you can find. Consult your dentist for any issues before, during and after the sessions.
Remember to follow the recommendations of your dental health professional. Professional teeth whitening can succeed or fail depending on what you do before and after the session.
If you’re in Knoxville, TN and need an experienced cosmetic dentist, then Dr. Dan Thompson is the man.
Dr. Dan Thompson and his family of professionals are there to make sure you only get the best results each time, every time. Contact us now to see how we can help you achieve a whiter smile.