Many of us drink coffee, tea, and wine, which over time can stain our teeth. Teeth whitening is the process of having your teeth whitened in-office or with take-home kits that contain peroxide-based bleaching agents. At Great Bay Orthodontics, Dr. John Walsh can give you a whiter, brighter smile if you schedule a consultation today.
You can restore your smile with whiter and brighter teeth in a short time. Our teeth whitening take-home kits are tailor-made specifically for you so you can whiten your teeth on your own time, from the comfort of your own home.
Teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity which can be mitigated by using desensitizing toothpaste.
Dr. John Walsh will meet with you to discuss if you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. An oral exam will be performed to make sure you have no cavities, enamel erosion, gum disease, or any exposed tooth roots. If cavities are detected, you will need to have these filled before receiving teeth whitening treatment.
For in-office teeth whitening, a rubber dental dam will be placed over your gums to shield them from the bleaching agent. A cheek retractor may be used to protect the cheeks and lips.
For take-home whitening kits, impressions will be taken of your teeth to create custom teeth whitening trays that perfectly fit your teeth. Once these trays are ready, you will return to pick them up.
For in-office whitening, a strong whitening gel made of 15-43% hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth. A laser or UV light is used to activate the whitening gel. This process takes about an hour as the process is continually repeated and then it will be rinsed out of your mouth.
For take-home whitening kids, you will follow the instructions provided to you by your dentist and insert the whitening trays onto your teeth, leaving them on for no longer than the specified amount. This is a gradual process that requires you to use your whitening trays repeatedly over a few weeks.
Following your teeth whitening treatment, you should continue to brush twice a day and floss once per day. To prolong the whitening effects of your treatment, try switching to a toothpaste and mouthwash with whitening properties. Avoid using tobacco products, consuming foods or drinks that stain the teeth, and visit your dentist every 6 months for cleanings.
The biggest difference between in-office whitening and take-home kits is the whitening process. The in-office whitening will be instant and likely only require a single one-hour session which produces very noticeable results. This makes in-office whitening treatments perfect for special occasions such as weddings
Take-home kits can produce results that are just as effective as in-office whitening treatments, but the process will be more gradual. Instead of whitening your teeth in a single appointment (or a few appointments for extremely discolored teeth), you will use your whitening trays for the specified amount of time, usually over a few weeks.
A good candidate for teeth whitening would be someone who has discolored teeth that they want to improve but otherwise good oral health, with no cavities or signs of gum disease. People who are not good candidates for teeth whitening include:
How long your results will last depends on how extensive your discoloration was and how well you maintain your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding things that cause teeth stains. You can expect the treatment to last from 6 months to 3 years.
If you regularly visit your dentist every 6 months like you should to clean your teeth and get a checkup, Dr. John Walsh can let you know when it’s time for a touch-up. By avoiding drinks that cause stains such as coffee, tea, and wine and brushing twice a day as well as flossing every day, your teeth whitening treatment will last longer.
Professional teeth whitening is completely safe and does not damage your teeth.
Wearing braces can cause surface stains from the wires and brackets covering certain portions of your teeth while others were left unexposed. While teeth whitening can significantly improve discoloration, it’s not advisable to undergo whitening treatments while you’re still wearing orthodontics like braces.
For one, this can irritate your teeth and gums and it will produce uneven results because the braces cannot be removed. It is best to wait until you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment before getting your teeth whitened.
You should wait at least 4 weeks after removing your braces to have your teeth whitened, so your gums have a chance to recover. Doing it too soon can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity.
While you can whiten your teeth at any time before, during, or after Invisalign treatment, most dentists would recommend that you wait until you’ve fully corrected your tooth alignment. This is because as your teeth are still shifting, new areas of your teeth may be exposed that were previously hidden behind under teeth.
If you wear attachments and elastics, this would be an even bigger problem. These areas may contain significant discoloration and by whitening the teeth with this crooked alignment, you will have an uneven result by the end of your orthodontic treatment.
It’s best to wait 6 months after your Invisalign treatment so you will have an even result and won’t cause any irritation or sensitivity to your teeth or gums.
Your teeth are significantly less likely to be stained with Invisalign orthodontic treatment compared to braces. This is because the aligners are removable and enable you to thoroughly brush and floss all of the surfaces of your teeth.
Metal braces block a lot of the tooth and gum surface with wires and brackets, which can result in an increased risk for cavities and create discoloration. However, you need to make sure that you remember to remove your aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.
You should also brush and floss your teeth before putting them back on. This will prevent stains and plaque from building up in your aligners, which can then affect your teeth.
Chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods can cause wear and tear on your braces.