Everyone wants a bright, healthy smile, and you are no exception. Years of smoking, drinking coffee and eating foods like blueberry pie can eventually change the color of your pearly whites. Advances in teeth whitening make it possible for you to gain your bright smile back. Your Fair Oaks dentist can perform one of several cosmetic procedures to whiten your smile.
There are several types of teeth whitening procedures, and the best one for you depends on several factors, which your dentist can help you to consider. The esthetic possibilities are different with each method, so some of these factors may depend on whether you have other dental work in the visible areas of your mouth, your overall dental health and the extent of discoloration present.
One type involves a take-home teeth whitening tray. Your Fair Oaks dentist will take an impression of your teeth, then make a custom-fitted tray which you will take home and use as directed. A typical treatment entails using the whitening tray for several hours each day or overnight, for up to two weeks.
Another type of teeth whitening treatment is done in the office. You can enjoy much whiter teeth after only an hour or less in the chair. In-office whitening makes for a more drastic cosmetic change, and in some cases, a better esthetic outcome.
Finally, your dentist can perform internal bleaching if you have a tooth which is discolored after having root canal treatment. During this procedure, which is for only one tooth at a time, the dentist will use a bleaching solution inside the wide part of the root, toward the biting surface of the tooth. This can improve the esthetic look of a tooth that is discolored from endodontic therapy.
Let your Fair Oaks dentist know if you have any problems, such as tooth sensitivity or gums that bleed when you floss, or if you have had a lot of work on your front teeth. These all may be indications that a certain type of teeth whitening treatment is not for you. Teeth whitening can cause sensitivity to hot and cold in some patients. Your Fair Oak cosmetic dentist can recommend over-the-counter products to help you get through this while you are undergoing your treatment. Once the treatment ends, your tooth sensitivity should go away.
For the best esthetic improvement, ask your Fair Oaks dentist how you can protect your newly whitened smile. During treatment, your cosmetic dentist may suggest that you avoid drinking beverages such as coffee or red wine, and avoid eating dark foods that may stain teeth, such as blueberries and cherries, particularly within a certain period of time after removing your teeth whitening trays. This may prevent the pores in your teeth from absorbing the stains, negating the effects of your treatment.
As with any dental treatment, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully, to maintain good oral hygiene and to ask your dental health professional if you have any further questions.