When you consider that a smile is one of the very first things we notice about each other, it is just one of the reasons why professional teeth whitening is the best option when it comes to taking care of that smile. For many who are embarrassed of their smile or have learned to pose for pictures without baring any teeth, professional teeth whitening may be the best solution.
Learning more about the process, who is eligible to undergo it, and why professional teeth whitening is more successful than over the counter methods can better position you to make healthy and educated decisions about whitening your teeth.
What Is Teeth Whitening and Why See A Houston Dentist for It?
Individuals who are unsatisfied with the appearance of dull or discolored teeth may become more hesitant to smile freely and confidently. For this reason, many people in this situation will decide to have their teeth whitened to more fully restore their smile.
While some over the counter products may assist with teeth whitening to a certain degree, it is typically not as successful as professional treatments given by a dentist. Seeing a dentist before undergoing this procedure is critical. The dentist will ensure a patient’s teeth are properly prepped to receive the treatment and can also address any other underlying issues that could compromise the process or the integrity of the teeth.
Who Needs Teeth Whitening?
For most individuals, getting their teeth whitened is simply an aesthetic choice, one that can make them more confident in smiling fully. Some of the most common reasons a patient chooses to have their teeth whitened are:
- Stains. These minor discolorations may be left behind by daily activities such as drinking dark colored liquids: coffee, tea, or wine. Over time, this can tend to make teeth lose their pearly white luster as they become dulled by beverages like these.
- Tooth discoloration. Some tooth discoloration can occur for a variety of reasons unrelated to what a patient eats or drinks. However, the end result can be just as frustrating and may prompt an individual to seek professional teeth whitening services from their dentist.
If stains and discoloration have long since given way to more serious problems for a patient who has not been under a dentist’s care such as multiple cavities, distressed enamel, and even gum disease, teeth whitening may not be possible as the procedure could cause additional dental issues and complications.
It is also worth noting that professional teeth whitening is generally not done for adolescents because it may irritate the nerve of a tooth. Those women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the process with their dentist first to see if it is safe and recommended.
Why Professional Teeth Whitening Is the Best Option
Just because there are multiple methods (over the counter, professional, and otherwise) of whitening teeth, it does not necessarily make them all equally successful at what they claim to do. Although individuals may have some success with other methods, the return on their investment tends not to be as great as when they turn to a dentist.
Some of the primary benefits of professional teeth whitening can be:
- Pre-whitening teeth care. When using over the counter products at home, teeth can be brushed before a treatment, but it may still leave plaque behind that can hinder it from being as successful. When seeking professional services, a dentist can use special tools to ensure teeth are clean and plaque free before beginning whitening to make the process more effective.
- Tailor made whitening trays for a better fit. For dentists that use trays for teeth whitening, they are generally a higher quality than those you receive in over the counter kits. These trays may be fashioned from an impression of a patient’s teeth to ensure that every tooth is exposed as much as possible to the whitening treatment. Customization of the tray is key because without it, a patient’s teeth may not be as uniformly treated, creating an uneven effect.
- More prominent results. With a cleaner “canvas” after a proper teeth cleaning and a customized whitening process most patients that have their teeth whitened by a professional dentist experience more noticeable and brighter results.
- Faster whitening. Because the whitening agents are usually mixed with prescription strength concentrations of certain solutions frequently not available in over the counter packages, it can allow many patients to experience a brighter smile in less time.
How Often Should You Have Professional Teeth Whitening
Although professional teeth whitening can be more thorough and dependable than common over the counter methods, it is not permanent. Most professional whitening treatments last from six months to one year, while some patients can see results for up to three years.
To maximize the results of professional teeth whitening, it may be recommended to cut down on daily use of dark colored beverages and/or cigarettes, both of which can stain teeth and diminish a bright smile. It is imperative to practice excellent daily dental hygiene as well as make an appointment with your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning every six months.
What to Do If You Are Interested in Having Your Teeth Whitened
Those individuals interested in having their teeth whitened should take the first step of making an appointment with a licensed dentist for a checkup. At this time the dentist will likely do dental x-rays, clean the teeth of plaque, polish them, and then floss.
After a complete check of the teeth the dentist should be able to tell a patient if they are indeed a candidate for professional teeth whitening or if they have any specific concerns or reservations about moving forward with the treatment.
If the patient is a candidate for professional teeth whitening, a subsequent appointment will usually be made to begin that process. Treatments that will be done via a customized tray may also require the patient do an impression of their teeth at this time.
It is not hard to see why professional teeth whitening is the best option available with the longest lasting results. If you are looking for whiter teeth and a more confident smile, consider making an appointment with a reputable Houston dentist today.