Teeth whitening remains one of the most economical ways to enhance your smile. Your smile creates an immediate, subconscious, visual social impact. A brighter smile gives the impression of youth, vitality, radiant health, happiness, and warmth.
Statistics reveal that we place a high value on our smiles. According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey:
- Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset. 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.
- Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success.
- And when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was: Whiter & brighter teeth. If you are not happy with your smile, teeth whitening may be a good first step.
Types of Teeth Whitening
In our daily lives, teeth are easily yellowed and stained. Coffee, tea, cigarettes, and many foods contribute to the discoloration, and teeth that are yellow or stained can make you look older than you are.
If you are considering cosmetic dental treatments at our clinic, such as Dental Veneers or Dental Crowns, Dr. Sevgili recommends that you consider having your teeth whitened as the first step of your smile enhancing journey as you will want your new veneers or crowns to match your remaining teeth in color.
There are various ways to whiten your teeth, but the two most common are in-office treatment and the do-it-yourself approach, with over the counter products.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Power bleaching can be done several ways, but the general process is the same. An ‘in-office’ procedure that uses a stronger bleaching solution is used to alter or bleach the color of the teeth. The bleaching solution we use is much stronger than the ones available in whitening toothpastes – at approximately one percent hydrogen peroxide, or over the counter tooth whitening kits – at around 10-16 percent hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching solution used in power bleaching through our dental office is between 30-35 percent hydrogen peroxide, resulting in faster, whiter smile and cleaner, brighter teeth. Let’s look at the different ways that power bleaching can be achieved:
‘In office’ Power Whitening Combined with Take Home Trays. This is another option and will yield better results than power teeth whitening alone. The dentist will first take an impression of your teeth and from that make a custom tray so that you can seal off your teeth from your gums while using the peroxide solution. You will wear the tray at night for approximately two weeks prior to your dental visit, or two weeks after. You will receive the in-office treatment with the hydrogen solution in addition to using the tray and results may be far greater than the standard five or six shades whiter that you will see from power teeth whitening alone.
Power Bleaching without a Tray. It is possible to achieve power bleaching without the use of a tray. Your dentist can apply a hydrogen peroxide gel in office with a higher concentration of peroxide. The effects of the gel will work even after you leave the office, one to three days longer. You may require more than one visit, but results can eventually be attained.
Using the Power Bleaching System, less than 10 percent of the affected individuals may experience a slight flare or tenderness after application. This is more likely to occur in people with slight wear and cracks on their teeth. If there are more abrasions, it may be necessary to close those areas with a filler. If teeth are sensitive, it is relieved by a mild pain reliever. It is necessary to stay away from products such as cigarettes, coffee, tea, cola and red wine and from very hot/cold drinks until 24 hours after application.
The result obtained with the Power bleaching system is long (2-3 years).
At-Home Bleaching Systems
If you’re looking for an alternative to professional bleaching in a dental office, then do-it-yourself at-home whitening might be right for you. There are dozens of DIY options available for every budget and temperament – including special whitening toothpastes, strips, take-home trays.
o ensure the health of your smile, see your dentist before choosing an over-the-counter tooth whitener and beginning the bleaching process. Dentists know a lot about these products and can help you choose the right one and use it correctly.
- The stronger the peroxide formula, the more rapid its effect; the weaker the formula, the longer it can remain on the teeth safely. A low-percentage bleach used overnight every night of the week will produce about the same results as a high-percentage “day-bleach” that stays on the teeth one hour per day for seven days.
- The best time to begin at-home whitening is soon after a dental hygienist’s prophylactic cleaning. This procedure removes the surface layer of plaque and grime that can interfere with bleaching.
- Dentists and oral care companies urge brushing and flossing the teeth just prior to any kind of at-home or on-the-go whitening.
- For best results, don’t consume food or beverages (excluding water) for a couple of hours after treatment.