What I Wish I’d Known Before Trying Professional Teeth Whitening

What you should know about teeth whitening

Have you been considering professional teeth whitening, but haven’t been quite ready to move forward? Having questions and concerns is only natural, especially when it comes to your teeth. But one thing is for sure, the team at Valley Dental Clinic is pretty confident that once you try professional teeth whitening, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated. After all, teeth whitening is one of the five most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.

What you should know about professional teeth whitening.

The market for teeth-whitening has been growing exponentially in recent years, and for a good reason. Professional tooth whitening provides an easy way to safely and affordably brighten your smile. Professional teeth whitening is just one of many artistic dentistry (also more commonly referred to as cosmetic dentistry) services adults are electing to pursue. In-office whitening has become increasingly popular as patients can walk out of the dentist’s office on the same day with a whiter smile. And that’s nothing to frown about.

What is the difference between at-home tooth whitening and professional whitening treatments?

When you start thinking about tooth whitening, the first thing that patients do is consider the advantages and disadvantages of professional whitening treatments vs. at-home whitening treatments. The overall approach to teeth whitening is pretty straightforward. Whether you whiten at home or the dentist’s office, teeth whitening products consist of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These ingredients break down the stains on your teeth to reduce the concentration of color, thus resulting in brighter and whiter teeth.

If you elect to whiten your teeth at home, you can purchase a kit over the counter or directly from your dentist. These at-home treatments usually consist of custom-made dental trays used to apply prescription-strength whitening gel evenly. This gel then breaks down the surface stains and lightens the shade of your natural teeth. Patients usually see results in as soon as two weeks. The benefit of purchasing at-home dental treatments directly from your dentist, however, is that your whitening tray will be custom made to fit your upper and lower teeth. When you purchase the trays over the counter, you’ll be buying a one-size-fits-all tray.

If you elect to have your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office, a slightly different approach will be taken. In-office professional whitening treatments leverage a prescription-strength whitening gel that is much stronger than what you can purchase over the counter. The office approach to whitening also uses high-intensity light to produce significant results, all in just one visit. 

How much does professional teeth whitening cost?

It’s true that at-home treatments, particularly those that can be purchased over the counter, cost less than in-office treatments. But, as we mentioned before, over-the-counter treatments use a one-size-fits-all approach and take two or more weeks before you can see results. These at-home kits average around $50 each, and the chances are that you will have to purchase multiple kits before you see the results you are seeking. Professional teeth-whitening will often be a far more cost-effective and timely approach overall.

Are there side effects to professional teeth whitening?

This is a pretty common question for patients considering a whiter and brighter smile. And the truth is that there are side effects to professional teeth whitening. Though teeth whitening is considered safe, especially when done under the supervision of a trained cosmetic dentist, it is normal to experience teeth sensitivity after the procedure. In most cases, this sensitivity will diminish over time. In the meantime, Dr. Robinson may recommend treating the sensitivity with products that contain potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride gel to lessen potential irritation.

Another possible side effect from teeth whitening is irritated gums. This happens due to the contact between your gums and the whitening product. However, this particular side effect goes away quite quickly after your treatments are completed.

How do I care for my teeth after they have been professionally whitened?

Caring for your newly whitened teeth is far easier than you think, especially if you have already adopted a solid oral care regimen. The best thing you can do to keep your whitened teeth white is:

  • Brush your teeth twice per day, especially after meals when possible.
  • Floss your teeth once per day.
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
  • Avoid or limit the consumption of foods and beverages that might cause staining, such as fruit juices, dark berries, tea, coffee, dark-colored sodas, dark chocolate, and acidic fruits such as lemons and oranges.
  • Avoid the use of any and all tobacco products.

It’s also a good rule of thumb to avoid staining foods for the first 48 hours after completing your professional whitening treatment. If you feel the need to drink coffee or dark-colored soda, drink through a straw instead of sipping from a can, bottle, or mug. When you use a straw, you lessen the contact that the liquid has with your teeth.

Many patients find it best to stick to white veggies, white meat like chicken and fish, non-acidic fruits, and clear beverages for the first couple of days after a professional teeth-whitening treatment in Wasilla, AK.

Considering professional teeth whitening? We’re confident you won’t regret it.

Patients at Valley Dental Clinic are always pleased with their teeth whitening treatments. So if you are wondering what you will wish you had known before trying professional teeth whitening, the answer is that you should have tried it sooner. Professional teeth whitening creates a whiter and brighter smile beginning with the first in-office treatment. Before long, you’ll have a confident winning smile that you’ll love to show off to others. So why wait?

Request an appointment using our online form, or give our office a call. We believe that we’re the best dentists in Wasilla, AK. And, after your professional teeth whitening treatment, we’re confident you’ll feel the same way too.