Many of our patients are concerned their teeth are not as white as they would like them to be. Americans spend millions of dollars on teeth whitening treatments every year, and toothpaste manufacturers promise to make your teeth whiter. The good news is that here at New Heights Dental & Braces we have several treatment options to give you that beautiful smile you want.
Why Teeth Become Yellow
When you are young and healthy, you have healthy bones and your teeth look whiter and stronger. As you age, things like the foods you eat or other habits such as smoking may stain your teeth making them look yellowish or even brown. The enamel also weakens with wear and tear, plaque accumulation, cavities, and acid attacks from sugars or acidic foods such as orange juice. Other than tobacco and acidic foods, things like tea, coffee, and wine will cause staining. Without regular cleanings, those stains will deepen, resulting in discolored teeth.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Along with requests for teeth whitening treatments our patients are very interested in whether the procedure is safe for their teeth. If you choose to do an in-office treatment to whiten your teeth, we will use products that are safe and catered to your personal needs. Some patients have sensitive teeth and whitening can aggravate this condition. There are so many options on the market that it can be overwhelming to choose one that won't damage your teeth.
The most significant risk of teeth whitening is sensitivity and damage to the roots of your tooth. We can treat both symptoms in our office, and we may be able to predict how the treatment will affect you. If you are pregnant or nursing, we recommend you don’t whiten your teeth as a precaution.
Teeth Whitening Options
If you decide you want a whiter smile, we will review your oral health history and recommend a method that will give you the results you desire.
There are several teeth whitening options that you can choose from.
We offer professional teeth whitening treatments that we can perform here in our office, and they take about an hour. First, we use a particular material to protect your gums from the whitening agents, usually a hydrogen peroxide solution. Then our dentist or hygienist brushes on the whitening solution, and you must wait at the office for about an hour. This is an ideal treatment for patients who want to see more immediate results.
Another option that we offer for you is whitening kits you can use at home. With this system, we create custom-made trays that fit your mouth precisely, and you take the whitening solution home. You will use a syringe to place the whitening agent in the trays and then you wear them for 30 minutes or overnight. These are very safe and effective if you follow the instructions, and many patients like the convenience of doing the treatment at home.
We also offer a system you can use while on-the-go if you don't like to sleep with the trays in your mouth. This method also uses a tray, but it's not custom-made. Instead, the material molds to your mouth to include the molars. It is available in different flavors.
Purchasing over-the-counter teeth whitening trays or strips are cheaper than professional treatments, but the results can be inconsistent because they don't use the same concentration of whitening agents. Some are more effective than others, but the results usually take longer to obtain, and it can be frustrating. They can also damage your gums and cause tooth sensitivity.
Please call New Heights Dental & Braces at (210) 828-5300 if you have an interest in teeth whitening treatments.