At the New Year, countless Americans start the year by making resolutions. These typically relate to self-improvement in some way, whether in the realm of health, appearance, or accomplishments. As we anticipate a year when we will take off our masks and smile at and speak with others unhindered, why not start 2021 with a sparkling white smile?
Over-the-Counter Whitening Options
Nowadays, there are so many teeth whitening products available that it can be difficult to know which one to choose. When it comes to over-the-counter options, there are a few important things you should know.
First, look at the ingredients list. If you do not see either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide on the list, you are unlikely to achieve noticeable whitening results.
Next, consider the method of applying that active ingredient to your teeth. What matters most is how long the peroxide chemical stays in contact with the teeth. A whitening mouthwash, even if it does contain hydrogen peroxide, is not likely to work in the few minutes you swish it around your mouth. You should select an option that keeps the product on the teeth (and only the teeth because those chemicals can irritate the gums) for a minimum of 15 minutes. For this reason, we like whitening strips or gel applied in trays that you can keep on the teeth for the recommended length of time.
Professional Whitening Options
Some people do not achieve the results they want from over-the-counter products. Professional teeth whitening options are typically higher in strength and more custom-fitted to provide better, faster results. Our favorite is take-home whitening using professional strength gels in custom-fitted trays. We make the trays to fit your teeth perfectly, which keeps the gel in contact with the teeth and protects the gum tissues. It also allows you to use less gel, thus “stretching” your gel for more uses.
We offer the professional strength whitening gels in different concentrations to meet a variety of needs, including patients with sensitive teeth or busy schedules.
If you do not like the idea of doing all the “work” of whitening yourself, you should consider the option of in-office teeth whitening. Using a very high strength whitening gel (so strong that we have to place a protective barrier over your gums, lips and cheeks), we can achieve 3-4 shades of color change in about an hour. This is a great option for those who need whitening FAST. If you have a wedding or class reunion coming up, this is the whitening option you should choose. You can also continue the whitening process with take-home products afterwards to achieve optimal results.
Complete Smile Makeover
Maybe you have already whitened your teeth, and you still do not love your smile. Teeth whitening will only change the color of your teeth (and only the color of natural teeth, not old dental work). If there are problems in addition to the color, like tooth shape or size, that you would like to change, you should consider a smile makeover.
We can give your smile a makeover to create the cosmetic appearance you want. For some patients, this involves contact-lens-thin veneers made from porcelain or tooth-colored composite material to cover the teeth. For others, we use full porcelain crowns. Dr. Jill, Dr. Cara and Dr. Summer are well versed in all cosmetic dentistry options and can discuss which one will be the best to give you the smile of your dreams.
Which is Right for You?
You may already know which option you would like to undergo. If not, give us a call and schedule a cosmetic consultation with one of our wonderful doctors. We can assess your unique situation and make recommendations based on the desired outcome. We love helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams!