Add Shine to Your Smile
Looking to correct those yellow surface stains? Maybe it’s time to consider professional care. If over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes, and whitening strips just aren’t cutting it, here are some options you might want to consider.
In-office whitening procedures are simple and non-invasive. A dentist will first apply a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel, and then points a special light (like UV, LED, or Plasma Arc) toward that gel to activate its ingredients and speed up the whitening process. Dentists usually have patients follow up with a teeth whitening home kit that helps maintain the whiteness of teeth. At-home whitening kits include whitening gel and custom mouth trays. Used alone, they can be very effective in creating a brighter smile.
However, they usually take far longer than in-office whitening to achieve the same results. A one-hour office visit usually yields the same results as a few weeks of take-home gel.
Veneers, which are thin shells that fit over your teeth, are another way to get a brighter, whiter smile. They are particularly great for people who are looking to close gaps, fix rough or crooked edges, and/or correct the shape, size and/or position of their teeth in addition to getting a whiter smile.
The best veneers for achieving a whiter smile are made out of porcelain. Porcelain veneers have a long life span (12 to 15 years or longer), are extremely durable, and are generally more stain-resistant than your natural teeth. Why? The color is imbedded within the porcelain and then fired at over 1,800 degrees for a glazed surface.
The veneer procedure involves removing a minimal amount of tooth structure to make way for a thin layer of porcelain that is permanently affixed to the patient’s tooth. If you’re considering veneers, it’s important to talk to your dentist first about whether they may be right for you.
Expert Advice: Tooth Sensitivity
“Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic procedures provided by dentists today. A common concern about whitening is that it will make the teeth sensitive during or after treatment. The truth is, sensitivity is one of the side effects associated with teeth whitening. However, everyone responds differently the whitening process.
If you are interested in teeth whitening, the first step is to talk to a dental professional who can guide you to the most appropriate whitening process for your individual needs and expectations– including sensitivity.”