Technological gadgets and apps have changed the way we live, and they have certainly changed the ways we monitor our health. From recording our daily calorie intake and our step count, to new high-tech scans and sensors for diagnosis, there is more information available than ever to inform health care. Dentistry is no exception. New 3D dental x-ray and technology are changing the way dental professionals diagnose and treat dental problems.
What is the best teeth whitening method?
When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are a lot of options to sift through. There is no magic bullet to remove daily coffee stains choosing the best teeth whitening method depends on your budget, how quickly you want results, and just how white you want them to be.
The first thing you need to do is consider why your teeth are yellow. Sometimes that grande latte five days a week isn’t the reason your teeth have turned. Your dentist can help you determine whether or not a whitening method will meet your needs or if there is an underlying issue causing you problems. Next, consider these five methods for getting back your pearly whites.
If you aren’t looking for a drastic change and just want a quick and inexpensive method that will brighten your teeth, a whitening toothpaste is one option. A whitening toothpaste is easy to fit into your daily routine and can give your smile that little boost you’re looking for.
Paint-on Teeth Whitening
Paint-on teeth whitening is a gel that is applied to the teeth with a brush. This is an over the counter method and, while generally less expensive than whitening strips and trays, is also less effective. If you want something that will give a more dramatic result than whitening toothpaste but don’t want to pay for strips or trays, paint-on teeth whitening is a another option.
Whitening strips are literally thin plastic strips that contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on one side. They are generally worn for about 30 minutes per day and do not create much of an inconvenience in your daily life. This option can produce good results at an affordable price but can also be difficult to keep in position in order to obtain consistent coverage.
Whitening trays are plastic trays that can be custom molded to your teeth by your dentist. The tray is then filled with gel and placed over your teeth for varying amounts of time. Many patients choose to take these trays home and perform the whitening regimen on their own. While this method is more expensive, it also offers the most consistent and dramatic results.
Your dentist can offer or advise you on any of the methods we have listed here. If you choose to use whitening trays, your dentist will get trays that are custom molded to your teeth and ensure that they fit properly. This method also allows the dentist to use a UV light on your teeth while the trays are in, speeding up the whitening process and helping you get a whiter and brighter smile, fast.
Additionally, your dentist can ensure that these whitening methods are safe for your teeth and gums and will perform an exam to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems causing the discoloration in your teeth. The ADA advises patients that, “bleaching treatments will not remove tooth decay that may subsequently progress and result in the need for more extensive and expensive treatments.” So play it safe and check with your dentist before trying any of these methods.\
The best teeth whitening method
The best method depends on your time, your money, and your desired results. Whitening toothpastes can provide mild results with modest effort or money involved, while whitening trays can provide more dramatic results at a higher cost with more of your day dedicated to a whitening regimen.
Remember that no teeth whitening method will last forever. Things like coffee, tea and tobacco can cause your teeth to darken and will need to be treated again to regain their whiteness. Products like whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can help prolong the whitening process as will avoiding tobacco use and foods and drinks that will stain your teeth, but carry the risk of reducing your enamel.
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There are many teeth-whitening options that claim they will whiten your teeth without ever having to visit the dentist. It’s as simple as making a trip to your local store, picking out the product you think will work best and then heading home to try it out. It seems so convenient. So why should you consult with your dentist before you whiten your teeth?
Your Dentist can Diagnose Underlying Issues
Your tooth discoloration may not be the result of all that coffee you drink. Sometimes teeth start to darken because of an underlying condition that will not only cause complications if left untreated, but will likely be unaffected by whitening agents. Even if you do get effective results, the American Dental Association (ADA) says,
“bleaching discolored teeth in which the color change is the only visible indication of an underlying abnormality may change tooth color, but will not remove any underlying abnormality. This masking effect can result in tooth loss or other complications depending on the underlying condition since the true cause of discoloration may go untreated.”
Your dentist will perform an examination to make sure your teeth do not have any underlying issues and will ensure that you receive an effective whitening treatment that addresses any underlying issues.
Your Dentist will Help Whiten Your Teeth Safely
The second reason you should consult your dentist before beginning a teeth-whitening regimen is because your dentist will ensure that your gums, teeth, and the rest of your mouth can withstand the whitening process and are protected during the regimen. The ADA advises patients “to consult with their dentists to determine the most appropriate whitening treatment, particularly for those with tooth sensitivity, dental restorations, extremely dark stains, and single dark teeth.” Even though teeth-whitening methods are generally thought of as relatively safe procedures, they can cause issues in sensitive areas of the mouth if not done properly. Your dentist will help you whiten your teeth in a safe and effective way.
You Need a Dentist to Help You Achieve the Best Results
Dentists know teeth. Your dentist will help you find a method that best fits your needs and brings desired results. In the case of whitening trays, your dentist will custom-fit trays for your mouth so they fit evenly and comfortably. If the whitening procedure is performed in the office, your dentist may also use a ultraviolet (UV) light to help whiten your teeth even faster.
Whiten your Teeth Safely and Effectively
Consulting your dentist before beginning a whitening regimen ensures that the whitening process does not cause other issues later. Your dentist will also help you choose a method that will achieve the results you want in a safe way that fits your lifestyle.
So are you ready for whiter teeth? Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to discuss a solution that works for you.
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Choosing Between Different Types of Braces
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between traditional braces and Invisalign? When it comes to appearance, the thought of nearly invisible braces can certainly be appealing. Although both traditional metal braces and Invisalign straighten your teeth, Invisalign offers an invisible appearance, while other braces do not. You may want the option to remove the braces at times for social events or to eat your favorite foods. Different types of braces have to be kept on for different lengths of time. These are all things to consider when it comes to your personal comfort. There are pros and cons to both, so here is a comparison of traditional braces vs. Invisalign.
The Traditional Route: Metal Braces
Many people still prefer to have metal braces. There are both advantages and disadvantages of choosing to go the traditional route.
- The material used is metal, usually silver in color. You can pay extra to have the metal match the color of your teeth.
- You have to wear them 24/7 for about 2 years.
- Certain foods should be avoided.
- You must visit an orthodontist for treatment.
- Some pain or discomfort from the metal brackets may occur.
- You don’t have to worry about taking them on or off.
- You are unable to brush and floss as you normally do.
- They are better for more complex dental problems.
- You have to visit your orthodontist about every 4 to 6 weeks to have the braces tightened.
A New Approach: Invisalign
More and more people are selecting Invisalign over traditional metal braces because the benefits seem to outweigh any disadvantages.
- They are clear, making them nearly invisible.
- They are removable. You only wear them for about a year and for at least 20 hours a day.
- You do have to remove them while eating or drinking, but you don’t have to worry about missing out on your favorite foods or getting food stuck in them.
- There is virtually no discomfort while the trays are in.
- You must brush your teeth after meals to avoid discoloration of your teeth.
- Your daily oral hygiene routine does not change. You can brush and floss like you normally do.
- They are more effective for esthetic purposes and for less complex dental problems.
- They are custom-made out of smooth plastic.
- The cost may be higher than traditional metal braces.
- You must put in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks.
- You can get them in your local dental office.
And the Verdict Is…
Invisalign and metal braces have many differences, but they both serve the same purpose: to straighten your teeth. Both types of braces involve a change in your daily routine, and keep in mind that the success of Invisalign is completely up to you.
Choosing between different types of braces can be overwhelming and should not be taken lightly. If you are having trouble deciding between traditional metal braces and Invisalign, please contact our office to learn more or receive a free consultation at our Invisalign Open House.