Summer is wedding season. Whether you are getting married, in a wedding or just attending a wedding, you are sure to be taking many photos. Make an appointment to see your dentist right away to ensure that you have a bright white smile in every picture.
In addition to your regular cleaning appointment, you may want to consider having your teeth professionally whitened. Some people like to whiten their teeth at home, while others prefer an in-office treatment. Either way, you can achieve fantastic results in a very short time.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about teeth whitening treatments.
Can every patient benefit from teeth whitening treatments?
Most patients get great results from teeth whitening. However, it is always important to check with your dentist about your individual situation, especially if you have had a lot of dental work. Teeth whitening won’t damage your restorations, but tooth-colored fillings, crowns, veneers and other restorations will not change color during treatment. If you have restorations, your dentist can replace them in order to match whitening treatment results.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
No, most people have little or no discomfort from teeth whitening treatments. Patients with sensitive teeth or gums may have some minor discomfort, but it does not last longer than one or two days.
Will teeth whitening damage my enamel?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening does not permanently damage enamel or other tooth structures.
How long does it take?
You have a couple of options: at-home or in-office teeth whitening treatments.
At-home treatments: If you want to whiten at home, your dentist will make a custom-fitted mouth guard from a mold of your teeth. You will fill it with gel and wear it twice a day for a half hour, or while sleeping. Treatment only takes a few weeks.
In-office treatments: It usually takes a minimum of two visits to have your teeth whitened at the dentist’s office. Your dentist will apply a whitening solution to your teeth and then use a special lamp to safely set the solution.
Do I need to whiten my teeth on a regular basis?
Teeth whitening results are not permanent. They may last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the individual. People who avoid beverages and foods that stain will have more lasting results, and require less frequent treatments or touch-ups. For example, if you sip on many teas and colas throughout the day, your results will fade more quickly.
What can I do to ensure lasting results?
In addition to avoiding teas and colas (or sipping them through a straw), watch out for red wine and coffee, which also stain teeth easily. Smoking yellows teeth too.
Teeth whitening is a terrific way to improve your smile quickly and easily. Many people whiten their teeth in the summer, so make an appointment to see your dentist for treatment as soon as possible.
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