Minor staining on the teeth is one of the most common complaints among those looking for cosmetic dental treatment. In most cases, teeth whitening is a simple and very effective way to correct this type of discoloration.
There are several ways to whiten your teeth. Some are much more effective than others. The kind of whitening you choose depends upon how stained your teeth are and what approach you want to take. The most common approaches to teeth whitening are:
- Over-the-counter whitening toothpaste
- Over-the-counter whitening products
- In-office professional whitening
- Take-home professional whitening
The most effective approach is, of course, professional-strength whitening either performed in our dentist’s office or provided in a take-home kit. These whitening treatments provide the strongest bleaching agents and are the most effective against surface staining. Whitening toothpaste uses some whitening agents but also uses a mild abrasive to remove stains. Other over-the-counter products use the same type of bleaching agents our dentist uses, but they are much weaker concentrations.
The kind of whitening you choose depends upon how stained your teeth are and what approach you want to take.
What to Expect When You Have Your Teeth Whitened
When our dentist whitens your teeth, she will first use a protective gel as well as some special appliances to protect your lips, tongue, and gums from the whitening agent. Then she will apply the whitener directly to the front surfaces of your teeth. Some whiteners are then activated with a special light. The whitener is left on your teeth for about twenty minutes, then removed and reapplied two more times. The typical appointment lasts about an hour. Your teeth will look whiter right away, so you’ll be able to see results immediately. However, over the next few days, your teeth will continue to look whiter and brighter.
After your whitening treatment, you should maintain good oral hygiene and avoid foods and beverages that could make your teeth discolored again. After a few months, you might want to return for a touch-up treatment to keep your teeth looking their best.
Call our office at 817-465-0355 and set up a consultation with our skilled dentist.