San Francisco dentist discusses, “What is teeth whitening? Discovering how to achieve a brighter smile”
Your smile is often the first thing others notice. What is your smile saying about you?
A whiter, more radiant smile can give you confidence, help you make a good impression, and make you feel better about your appearance. Regardless of the reason, teeth whitening can give you the results that you desire.
Professional teeth whitening has become a popular cosmetic dental procedure in San Francisco because it provides beautiful, dramatic results in very little time. At the office of Dr. Leo Arellano, DDS, we have multiple whitening options to make your smile noticeably whiter and brighter. Whether you want the speed of having results in just a single appointment or would prefer to whiten gradually in the comfort of your home, we have options that we’ll explore in the following article.
What is teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening is the process of removing stains from the teeth and lightening the color for a whiter, brighter appearance. Teeth whitening tackles intrinsic stains which are the ones caused by the foods we eat and other factors such as smoking.
What is the difference between in-office and at-home teeth whitening?
In-office teeth whitening involves the application of a professional-strength bleach to the teeth. Some methods use a light activated bleaching agent while others are chemically activated.
At-home whitening involves preparing a custom set of trays and bleaching solution to be used at home for a specified amount of time each day.
In some cases, we may recommend a combination of both in-office and at-home treatments for the best results.
How does teeth whitening remove stains?
As the oxygen molecules in the bleaching agent penetrates the enamel of the teeth, it breaks down the discolored molecules leaving you with a whiter smile.
How long does it take to get results?
With in-office whitening you will leave the office in about 2 hours with a smile that is noticeably brighter. If you choose at-home whitening, the process is gradual with optimal results reached around the two-week mark.
The results of teeth whitening can be very long-lasting with a little maintenance. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene, regular dental cleanings, and try to minimize the consumption of stain causing foods and beverages.
What can I do to keep my smile bright?
Here are some tips for maintaining a whitened smile:
- Limit stain causing foods and beverages. If you do consume dark colored beverages such as coffee, tea, or red wine, using a straw can help keep them from staining the front teeth.
- Brush or rinse after consuming stain causing products.
- Consider maintenance touch-ups. It’s important to note that teeth that are whitened are still susceptible to future stains so individuals may need periodic treatments.
What are the side effects of teeth whitening?
Increased tooth and gum sensitivity is the main side effect of teeth whitening. This is a temporary side effect and typically resolves in a few days. By choosing professional whitening from a dentist, you can ensure that the correct concentration of bleaching agent is being used in order to minimize the possibility of sensitivity.
What if I have dental restorations?
Teeth whitening poses no risk of damage to existing fillings, crowns, or other dental restorations. The important thing to keep in mind is that these restorations will not respond to teeth whitening. If the pre-existing dental work was done to match stained or discolored teeth, it may need to be replaced to match the newly brightened teeth.
What do I need to do prior to teeth whitening?
There isn’t much that needs to be done prior to teeth whitening. If it’s been a while since your last professional dental cleaning, we recommend having a dental cleaning done first to remove any plaque and tartar buildup that could prevent the bleaching agent from effectively penetrating the enamel.
Get a whiter, brighter smile from the office of Dr. Leo Arellano, DDS in San Francisco, CA
If you are ready to see how teeth whitening can transform your smile, give us a call today. We’ll discuss your goals and together, agree upon which teeth whitening method will be best for you. To get started, call our office at 415-881-4343 to set up a consultation.