Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Professional Teeth Whitening Brightens Smiles by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Everyone’s teeth become stained over time. At some point, toothpaste alone will not be adequate to address your staining. This is when an in-office visit for professional teeth whitening may be what you need.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Your Austin cosmetic dentist will use an in-office teeth whitening system such as Zoom! or BriteSmile. These systems have been proven to effectively lighten teeth by up to eight shades. The procedure is conducted by a certified dental assistant and usually takes no more than an hour. The take-home bleaching trays are not as effective and results typically take longer to see.

The Teeth Whitening Process

Before your teeth whitening procedure, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive check to verify that the procedure is appropriate for you. The process consists of applying a gel to your teeth then directing a laser beam at them to activate the oxidation process and expedite the whitening. It generally takes about an hour to adequately and evenly whiten the entire dental set during which time you may watch TV, listen to music or even take a nap.

The Safety of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening does absolutely no damage to the teeth’s external or internal structure and it is completely safe for fillings. Patients almost never report any pain, although patients with extremely sensitive teeth may experience some aching or tenderness for a day or two afterwards.

The Results of Teeth Whitening

The results may last up to a year or two. However, that time frame varies depending on your personal habits. If you drink dark liquids such as coffee, tea, and red wine; eat dark foods, or smoke, your teeth will accumulate stains faster. But ultimately, even with the best of diets and oral hygiene routines, people typically still find they will need whitening again in a few years’ time. We constantly use our teeth, and there is no way to keep them from showing the effects of that use.

The Candidates of Teeth Whitening

Almost anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for professional teeth whitening. The age limits vary depending on area and dentist. However, teeth whitening does not whiten false teeth, so if you have a prominent false tooth, consult with your dentist before deciding to whiten.

For more personalized dental care information, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mike McCarty, DDS, a top Austin teeth whitening dentist.