White Teeth and Bright Smiles in Winter Park
Fall is here and the holidays are coming fast on its heels! In Florida, that means lots of gatherings, weddings, and family holiday photos. We all want to look our best for these events! Fresh haircut, makeup tutorials on YouTube, a close shave. But all that effort might fall a little flat if your smile isn’t as bright as you’d like it to be.
There are so many products and home remedies promising whiter teeth. How can you tell what works and what doesn’t, and more importantly, what whitening is healthy for your teeth and what might cause damage? Don’t worry, Winter Park. Anderson Family Dental is here to help get your teeth sparkling with safe, effective whitening recommendations to suit your needs.
If you’re on a time crunch, or you just want your new shade right away, professional whitening done in the dental chair is likely your best option. In-office whitening works immediately to give you brighter teeth the same day. Treatment usually takes about an hour or two and the results can be maintained indefinitely with touch-ups at home.
In-office whitening is a simple process. We will apply a gel to your teeth and activate the product. Then, you can just relax and take a nap, listen to your favorite podcast, or read a book while the whitening does its thing. After fifteen minutes or so, the gel is rinsed and refreshed for another round. Most in-office whitening entails three or four rounds like this.
After your session, we will apply an anti-sensitivity treatment and we recommend avoiding any staining foods, drinks, or smoke for a day or two afterward.
While in-office whitening is amazing, it’s not appropriate for every case. For example, if your teeth are very sensitive, you might find it uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are other options!
Professional Whitening at Home
If in-office whitening is not a great match for you, we also offer professional whitening services you can use at home! This process takes a bit longer than the quick-and-easy in-office version, so if you need white teeth for a wedding this weekend, take-home whitening may not be your best bet.
We start by taking a mold of your teeth and creating a model duplicate of your dentition. Then, we create custom whitening trays that will fit your teeth with precision. We will supply you with whitening gel and show you exactly how to apply it at home.
Then, you will wear the whitening gel in your trays for about thirty minutes once or twice per day, although the specifics can vary based on the exact type of gel you’re using. Some formulas work better for certain shades of teeth, so your dental team will give you specifics when you pick up your trays.
This method can take anywhere from two weeks or longer to reach your whitest shade. It may cause some mild sensitivity, but in general this is the method we recommend for people with sensitive teeth.
There are also over-the-counter options for tooth whitening, such as White Strips. While these products can get some fairly good results, the shade change will not be as profound as you can get with professional options. Because the application is not custom fitted to your teeth, they may also be difficult to apply and will likely miss spots, especially if you have crooked or crowded teeth.
Most over-the-counter products will take about the same amount of time to work as the professional grade at-home option, albeit with less dazzling results. The only products we absolutely do not recommend are any that work by scrubbing away stains with abrasive additives. Charcoal toothpaste, for example, can scratch your enamel and abrade your gums and we recommend avoiding it. Likewise, whitening toothpastes frequently fail to live up to their claims and may cause long-lasting cold sensitivity and even gum irritation.
One final note on options to avoid: so-called professional grade whitening outside of a dental setting, such as at a health spa or shopping mall. Whitening without a dental exam can leave you with huge problems. For example, if you have any fillings or crowns that show when you smile, they will not whiten along with your enamel. That means you could be left with unsightly, mismatched teeth. Likewise, whitening applied to unhealthy or decaying teeth can cause problems. While it is a cosmetic procedure, whitening is best performed under the supervision of your dental team.
If you have any questions about how to get your whitest smile in time for the holidays or for a special event coming up, do not hesitate to ask. Call us today to start enjoying your most beautiful smile!