What you need to know before getting your teeth whitened
You only have one chance to make one first impression, and a radiant smile can make all the difference. It’s no wonder then that teeth whitening has become a popular cosmetic treatment, promising to turn back the clock on stained or discolored teeth.
If you want a brighter and more confident smile, our Corvallis teeth whitening dentists have compiled a list of various factors you should consider first. Join us as we delve into the world of teeth whitening!
1. The whitening process targets stubborn stains
When you consume certain foods or drinks or use tobacco, it can cause stains that seep deeper into the enamel over time, making them harder to remove with regular brushing.
The peroxide solution used in the teeth whitening process acts as a bleaching agent that penetrates the enamel to reach and “break” the stained molecules in your teeth. While peroxide is effective at removing most common stains, it may not be as effective on certain types of discoloration, such as those caused by medications or injuries.
2. Restorations don’t whiten
Restorations such as fillings, crowns, veneers, or dental implants don’t respond to whitening in the same way as natural teeth.
Dental restorations are typically made from materials like porcelain, designed to match the color of your natural teeth at the time of placement. These materials are resistant to the peroxide. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss your dental history with your dentist, particularly if you have any restorations. Based on your specific situation, they can help you understand what results to expect and plan the most effective treatment course.
3. Diet implications
What you eat and drink can significantly impact the duration of your results. Certain habits can reduce the effectiveness of the whitening process. Here are some foods and drinks you should avoid to ensure the results of your teeth whitening last as long as possible:
Coffee and tea
Colored beverages (dark sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks)
Dark foods (berries, tomato-based sauces, chocolate…)
Acidic foods (citrus fruits, vinegar, and others)
Alcohol and tobacco products
4. A cleaning can improve the results of your whitening treatment
Optimizing the results of your teeth whitening treatment is a top priority, and one of the simplest ways to do this is by having a professional dental cleaning before your whitening procedure.
A professional dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar, resulting in a cleaner surface for the whitening agent to work on. This cleaning allows for a more even application of the whitening product and better penetration into the tooth’s enamel, resulting in a more uniform whitening effect.
Scheduling a dental cleaning before a whitening treatment is a simple step that can greatly enhance your results. It ensures your teeth are in the best possible condition for the procedure, leading to a brighter, whiter smile.
5. Over-the-counter vs. professional teeth whitening
Teeth whitening options are categorized into 2 groups: over-the-counter (OTC) and professional.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are readily available and offer a convenient and affordable way to brighten your smile at home. These products include whitening toothpaste, rinses, strips, and trays with a gel.
However, the concentration of the whitening agent in these products is significantly lower than that found in professional solutions. This means that while they can effectively remove surface stains, they might not significantly lighten deeper discoloration.
On the other hand, professional teeth whitening treatments are administered by dental professionals and involve the use of high-concentration peroxide gels, which is why they yield quicker and more dramatic results. They also offer a safer process, as your dentist can protect sensitive areas and monitor the process to ensure the desired outcome.
6. Your dentist will assess your mouth and give you recommendations
Teeth whitening may seem like a straightforward procedure that anyone can undergo. However, the reality is that everyone’s oral condition is unique, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for teeth whitening. This is why a thorough assessment of your mouth by an experienced dentist is an essential first step in your teeth whitening journey.
During an initial consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or sensitivity. They’ll also review your dental and medical history and consider factors like age and lifestyle habits that might affect the success of the treatment.
Want a brighter smile? We can help!
Getting started on teeth whitening can be exciting, and at Timberhill Dental, we can guide you every step of the way.
We offer a personalized approach to teeth whitening that combines the convenience of at-home treatments with the effectiveness and safety of professional supervision. Request an appointment with one of our teeth whitening dentists in Corvallis — let’s start transforming your smile!