You pull into the drive-through to grab a coffee on the way to work. You just don’t feel like yourself until you’ve had your morning pick-me-up.
As you wait for your order to be delivered, you glance in the car mirror. Something catches your eye, so you look a little closer. All of a sudden you start to feel self-conscious as the barista brings your coffee to you.
You thank her and pull away, but you stop in the parking lot. You take another look in the mirror.
When did your teeth become so … yellow?
Before you feel bad, you should know that it’s normal for your teeth to become stained as you get older. Every cup of coffee … or sip of tea … or soft drink adds to the stains on your smile. The same can be said for every plate of spaghetti, every taco, and every piece of pie that you eat.
At Advanced Dental Concepts, you can see the difference that professional teeth whitening can make.
If you take a walk down nearly any toothpaste aisle, you will find dozens of self-proclaimed “whitening” products. Toothpaste, mouth rinses, strips, and gels are all labeled as whitening products. The question is: what do they do?
This is an important question because the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has found that “whitening” doesn’t always mean the same thing. As more and more whitening products were released, the council decided to take a closer look at them.
Here are a few things they found:
▪ Whitening toothpaste contains no bleaching agents. It might remove some surface stains from your teeth, but not much else.
▪ Whitening gels and strips do contain bleaching agents, usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
▪ Commercial products have much lower concentrations of bleaching agents than professional products (like the ones we offer at Advanced Dental Concepts).
The council also found that, in spite of their lower concentrations, commercial products present risks. If they are used too often or too long, they can cause damage to your teeth.
And whitening products may not be as effective for patients who already have dental restorations, such as tooth fillings or dental crowns.
If you come to our office, you will have the choice of teeth whitening options, including Zoom whitening.
For the fastest possible results, we recommend our in-office whitening. Many patients see a significant improvement in the color of their smiles in a single treatment.
If you prefer the DIY approach, we also offer take-home treatments as well. With a set of custom-made trays, the whitening gel can be applied more evenly and effectively. It may take a little more time (a couple weeks), but when used as directed, our take-home treatments can give you results comparable to our in-office treatments.
If so, then we suggest you follow another recommendation of the ADA council. Start by scheduling a consultation with a dentist, like our own Dr. David Miller, if you are considering using any whitening product with a bleaching agent.
Dr. Miller can examine your teeth and let you know if teeth whitening or another service (such as dental veneers) is the best option for bringing back your “pearly whites.”