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 almost immediately. In-office teeth whitening treatments are incredibly effective and can lighten your teeth by up to 10 shades in one season. 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.
When it comes to your health, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Give us a call and one of our team members will help decide if a visit to the office is necessary. If not, they’ll be sure to provide you with recommendations on effective home treatments.
If your brackets are loosening and aggravating your mouth, place a small amount of wax on the part causing discomfort. If a bracket has fully detached from your braces, simply put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment.
If your loose wire is poking your mouth, use a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to try and put it back into place. You can also use a string of floss to secure the wire back into its proper form by tying it around the bracket. If neither of these options ease your wire into a more comfortable position, use a small fingernail clipper to trim the wire and add wax to keep it from poking.
Ties, also known as ligatures, are tiny rubber bands or fine wires that hold the wire to the bracket. If your ties pop off, use a sterile set of tweezers to ease it back into place. It’s possible for other ties to pop off when one breaks. Be sure to examine all of your ties, and if you’re unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to call our office.
Braces can often irritate the mouth, but luckily, there is a solution. Gently stick a small amount of wax to buffer the area between metal and mouth. This can work wonders for patients that are new to braces, and can especially help patients eat more comfortably. If you accidentally swallow the wax, don’t panic. The wax is harmless and won’t cause discomfort or digestion problems.
It’s completely normal to feel slight discomfort for a couple of days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. After this short period, the pain should ease as your teeth and jaw begin to adapt to the pressure.
Chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods can cause wear and tear on your braces.