Teeth Whitening and What You Should Know

One of our most popular cosmetic dental procedures is teeth whitening. Who among us does not want a whiter, brighter smile?

Almost everyone who wants whiter teeth can now achieve their desired result. Most patients we see are ideal candidates for whitening. There are a few exceptions to be aware of where you can still whiten, but may need to discuss expectations with your dentist.

If you have older style crowns that have a metal base, you may not get your desired result. With advancements in dentistry, almost all crowns now are free of metal and made with ceramic, making them more aesthetically pleasing. Often, in-office professional whitening systems can effectively whiten the tooth underneath a crown or veneer pending it is metal free.

Patients that have had tetracycline staining, caused from antibiotics, also benefit from professional whitening. Due to the dark grey/brown discoloration from the antibiotic it may take longer to achieve the desired result, but many patients are very happy with the result they get from teeth whitening, saving them from needing to do veneers or crowns.

Please note that teeth whitening, of any kind, is not recommended for patients who are pregnant.

Options for Teeth Whitening

We find that patients most often seek teeth whitening in advance of class reunions, weddings, and holidays where a beautiful, white smile will add to the success of the event. We suggest you plan your whitening for about two to three weeks prior to the event to get to a desirable shade of brighter, whiter teeth. Depending on the whitening choice, that time frame may lessen or be longer.

In Office Teeth Whitening: At Floss, we offer Opalescence Boost whitening. Boost whitening is chemically activated and does not require any lasers or uncomfortable lights. It is a safe and effective way to get a brighter, whiter smile after just 40 minutes in the dental chair. This is the fastest way to brighten your smile.

Custom Teeth Whitening Trays: Opalescence whitening gel offers professional whitening in the comfort of your own home. Here at Floss, we make you a custom tray that is tailored to your smile, which allows the gel to be delivered precisely and minimizes the excess. This leaves you with an increased whitening result. Containing both potassium nitrate and fluoride, Opalescence whitening gel will help decrease sensitivity while strengthening your teeth. This is the best option for at-home whitening to achieve that brighter, whiter smile.

Pre-Filled Teeth Whitening Trays: Opalescence Go trays are pre-filled, disposable and adapt comfortably to almost any smile for professional, ready-to-go whitening. This is a great option for touch-up whitening or if you are looking into whitening for the first time. Opalescence Go is a great alternative to custom trays if you have light stain to remove.

Over the Counter Whitening Strips: This is not a professional grade of teeth whitening, and some patients have gotten discouraged due to their lack of results. It is not a tray delivery system, therefore it allows for increased gel to come in contact with your gums, resulting in higher sensitivity. OTC whitening strips take the longest to achieve the desired bright, white smile.

Teeth Whitening Side Effects and Post Care

After whitening, coffee and red wine should be avoided for at least 24 to 48 hours.

You may experience slight sensitivity after teeth whitening. This is often dependent on your age and how often you chose to whiten. The younger you are the larger the nerve is in you tooth. Patients under 20 usually experience more sensitivity than someone in their 30’s or older. Sensodyne, in-office fluoride application, and ibuprofen often help with any discomfort.

You can see more before and after photos of teeth whitening by visiting our Cosmetic Gallery page.