Teeth Whitening at Spokane Dental
At Spokane Dental, our patients frequently ask questions concerning teeth whitening. We are so passionate about meeting our patient’s needs and helping people achieve the healthy smile they desire that we answered some of our patient’s teeth whitening questions in our first blog post below!
How We Whiten
In office the Spokane Dental Team makes custom whitening trays that fit our patient’s smiles, and we provide whitening gel to wear in the trays. At home our patients can wear the trays (with whitening gel in them) whenever they’d like. This ensures that each patient can customize his or her whitening experience. The whitening gel changes the shade of the actual tooth (specifically enamel), and patients can decide when they have reached the outcome they desire. Spokane Dental’s hygiene team; Lisa, Kaylene, and Carrie, can also remove external stain on the tooth surface, allowing patients to have a brighter smile and a clean slate to start whitening.
Every patient is different, and at Spokane Dental we are committed to provide unique care to everyone. Before whitening, we would recommend an exam as well as dental cleaning so we can provide a custom tooth whitening routine that will maximize benefits as well as patient safety.
Some of our most frequently asked questions concerning tooth whitening are answered below:
How white will my teeth get?
Every person’s smile is different. How white your teeth will get depends on several factors; your dental anatomy, origins of stain or discoloration, age, frequency the whitening agent is used, and how long the whitening agent is used.
With a dental exam and cleaning, Dr. Smith and the hygienists can determine how effective whitening will be for you.
Will it hurt?
Whether a patient will experience tooth sensitivity during whitening is completely unpredictable. If a patient experiences sensitivity, it is temporary. To help or prevent sensitivity we recommend using toothpaste designed to reduce sensitivity, or slowing down or stopping temporarily the whitening regimen.
If used correctly, the tooth whitening gel will not cause sensitivity to soft tissue (gums), because it will only come in contact with the surface of the tooth.
Is it safe?
The American Dental Association released a statement (ADA.org) regarding safety of tooth whitening.
In a summary of their research document , the ADA states:
Tooth bleaching is one of the most conservative and cost-effective dental treatments to improve or enhance a person’s smile. However, tooth bleaching is not risk-free and only limited long-term clinical data are available on the side effects of tooth bleaching. Accordingly, tooth bleaching is best performed under professional supervision and following a pre-treatment dental examination and diagnosis. (pg 10)
The largest concern with safety is dependent upon how the patient uses the whitening products. The ADA, as well as Spokane Dental, strongly recommend each patient whitens under dental supervision. This ensures that patients are using the products correctly and safely.
How long until I see results?
Some patients notice a slight difference after just one use, although it varies greatly from patient to patient.
How long will the whitening last?
The result of teeth whitening is also dependent on the patient’s individual anatomy and lifestyle. Ways to prolong the effects of whitening include:
- Avoid smoking
- Drink stain-causing beverages through a straw, or drink less frequently
- Red wine, coffee, certain teas, and soda are notorious stain-causing culprits.
- Rinse or brush after meals
- Blueberries and other dark foods can cause stain. Rinsing with water after consuming stain causing foods or drinks can help, as well as a quick brush.
- Take care of your teeth
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. This will cut down on staining as well as make your gums and teeth healthier, and a healthy smile is a beautiful one!
If you are interested in teeth whitening or have any other dental needs call us at (509)822-5614.