Teeth whitening is an easy way to brighten your smile. And there are teeth whitening options for everyone. That’s why we’ve composed this post to respond to your top 10 questions about teeth whitening. From in-office whitening to over-the-counter kits, there is a lot to understand.
1. How does teeth whitening work?
Over time, and due to certain foods and drinks, teeth can become stained. This is because colored molecules stick to the surface of your teeth. Teeth whitening is a bleaching solution applied to your teeth. Once the whitening solution is exposed to oxygen in the air and carbon in the dentin, a chemical reaction occurs which breaks apart the staining molecules. Through oxidation, the whitening solution removes most stains from tooth enamel.
2. How long does it take to whiten teeth?
There are different methods Dr. Frahm recommends for teeth whitening based on the status of your oral health, placement of restorations, and desires for care. For the quickest results, you should opt for the one hour in-office whitening procedure like Zoom teeth whitening system or the Sinsational Smile. For a more gradual whitening process that takes two to four weeks, choose a custom-fitted at-home whitening tray. For a more comprehensive explanation, read Teeth Whitening—Know Your Options.
3. Will teeth whitening work on dental veneers, composites and crowns?
There are a few instances where teeth whitening will not work on your teeth. If you have dental veneers, composites, crowns or bridges, whitening will not change the color of these restorations.
4. Does teeth whitening hurt?
Some of the chemicals used in teeth whitening can cause sensitivity to your teeth and gums. If you have sensitive teeth, a simple, over-the-counter pain reliever will help, but talk with Dr. Frahm and our care team about other ways to minimize discomfort. Hint: we have a special tooth paste that helps minimize discomfort.
5. Will whitening my teeth damage my enamel?
Established research proves that teeth whitening does not damage tooth enamel. The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective. However, to ensure that any possible risks to enamel and overall teeth and gum health is maintained, always visit a dental professional for in-office procedures and take-home kits. If you are considering over-the-counter products, look for the ADA seal of approval and talk to Dr. Frahm or Stacey our director of dental hygiene about recommendations.
6. How long does teeth whitening last?
In-office whitening procedures can last up to a year, while take-home trays usually last a few months.
7. Should I avoid certain foods after having my teeth whitened?
To maintain the appearance of bright white teeth for as long as possible, avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, juices and berries are the worst offenders. And mustard and curry can tint teeth toward yellow. Also it goes without saying that avoiding smoking will keep your teeth whiter for longer.
8. How much does teeth whitening cost?
The cost of teeth whitening varies by procedure. In-office procedures can bring you results in an hour and can cost in the realm of $800 to $1,200. Take-home trays are complementary in our dental practice. They are almost always more cost-effective, but you won’t see results for several weeks. When it comes to how much teeth whitening costs, know your options.
9. Do I need a dental cleaning before whitening my teeth?
Dental cleanings are important for your overall dental health, but did you know that having your teeth cleaned of plaque and tartar before whitening will produce the best results? Make the most of your next cleaning visit and schedule your in-office teeth whitening at the same time.
10 How do I make a teeth-whitening appointment?
As with any dental procedure, you’ll need to make an appointment in advance of your teeth whitening treatment. If you are unsure which whitening option is best for you, talk to Dr. Frahm and discuss your options. Our holistic approach to dental care keeps your long-term wellness in mind. Contact Dr. Frahm today at 831-372-8011. Our office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.