How to whiten your smile

Smiling woman with white teethTeeth whitening has leaped from the Hollywood red carpet into the homes of everyday people. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening among Americans has increased by 300 percent over the last five years. Kote Family dentistry offers several whitening options and a full range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to give you an amazing smile.

Advances in research and technology have fueled consumer demand by offering several safe and effective treatments to brighten smiles.

Whitening is successful in 90 percent of patients and is best suited for patients with teeth darkened from age, coffee, tea, smoking, medication or heredity, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Dentists may discourage whitening for patients with sensitive teeth.

You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:

  • Bleaching (at-home or in-office)*
  • Whitening toothpastes

Bleaching

Bleaching is a common and popular chemical process used to brighten discolored or stained teeth.

happy Smiling Couple demonstrating white teeth after bleaching

Bleaching can be performed under dental supervision, at home. (The AGD recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations. This will help you avoid gum irritation or damage to previous dental work.)

For at-home treatments, your dentist provides a custom-fitted plastic “tray” (made from impressions of your teeth, the tray looks like a very thin mouthguard), whitening gel and instructions. Most whitening treatments done at home take between 10 to 14 days to complete.

Results from a dentist-supervised whitening procedure can last anywhere from one to five years (depending on your eating, drinking or smoking habits).

Whitening toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, which ensures the product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness. Before using any teeth whitening product, consult with your dentist.

* Teeth whitening procedures are not typically covered under Delta Dental plans; always check your coverage before undergoing dental treatment.