Just as the name suggests, teeth whitening is the process of making your teeth brighter, mostly through bleaching treatments. It cannot make teeth snow-white but it can actually help improve the color by several shades. Teeth staining and discoloration is inevitable and is caused by foods and drinks, smoking and the natural ageing process. While the shade or color of your teeth is not always a reason for concern, it has been shown that it can affect your confidence levels. Many people therefore get teeth whitening in Huntington, NY just to feel good about themselves.
A study conducted in 2015 by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reported that teeth whitening is the most sought after cosmetic dental procedure. The procedure is an effective and safe way to improve your smile, only if the right technique is applied. Using a wrong method could lead to serious and permanent damage such as tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, brittle and weak teeth, etching teeth and even loss of productive enamel.
You can either chose to have your teeth whitened with a professional dentist or at home using DIY kits and over the counter products. While it is possible to safely whiten your teeth at home, we always recommend in-office treatment from a cosmetic dentist near you.
If you choose to whiten teeth at home, keep in mind that it is all upon you to determine the safety of the technique being used. While it possible to use research as guide on what to do, you lack the expertise to determine what works best for your teeth. Common DIY teeth whitening remedies include the use of baking soda, activated charcoal, lemon and wood ash. Dentists however discourage patients from using these products. An ingredient like lemon has a pH of 2.2, which is highly acidic and causes corrosion of the enamel.
Most people think that since home whitening remedies use natural ingredients, they are completely safe. This however not the case. Just because something is good and safe for one use does not mean it will be safe for another different use.
An alternative to the DIY methods is the use of OTC whitening treatments. These are bought at the store without a prescription. They include whitening toothpastes, rinses and whitening strips. These are generally safer than DIY remedies and can help brighten teeth by one or two shades. Since they are for general use, they contain low concentrations of the whitening ingredients and thus may not deliver the results you are after.
This is the most recommended way for you to whiten your teeth. The procedure is performed under the supervision of a dentist or hygienist to ensure safety. There are three options when it comes to professional treatments which include in-office bleaching, custom-trays whitening and a combination of both in-office bleaching and at home custom whitening trays.
In-office bleaching is known to deliver the quickest results. It may take one or more appointments to complete but this will depend with your specific needs. A highly concentrated whitening agent is applied onto the teeth and left to sit for 15 to 30minutes before being removed. In-office teeth bleaching treatments include chairside bleaching which uses a syringe to apply the bleaching agent. Then there is the use of the bleaching agent alongside high intensity lights like LED, UV or halogen which are applied using a special lamp or a laser device.
Another professional option is the use of custom whitening trays. Using an impression of your teeth, a dentist prepares for you a set of custom trays to take home. You will then be provided with a bleaching agent such as carbamide peroxide in form of a gel to place in the trays before wearing them. You will be required to use the trays and gel for a couple hours every day for a few weeks to gain results.
In some cases, your dentist may suggest that you get both in-office treatment and still get the custom trays to use at home.
While professional teeth whitening promises to be effective at brightening your smile. It is not short of risks and side effects. At Smile Huntington, our team is well trained and experienced to ensure you get the best results from your teeth bleaching treatment.