Teeth Whitening Holidays

The Holidays are here and if you’re anything like us, you just might be scrambling to complete your holiday shopping! Avoid the crowded stores and long delivery times, and gift your loved ones with a professional teeth whitening from Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implant Center for the holidays! Who doesn’t want the confidence of a sparkling smile this holiday season?! It’s the perfect gift for just about everyone on your list!

You may be asking yourself, what is a prosthodontist? Do they even do professional teeth whitening? The simple answer is YES! A prosthodontist is a dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes. (American Dental Association, 2022). So yes, that includes the professional whitening of teeth!

Happy Holidays, You Have Yellow Teeth…?

We know, you’re probably concerned about offending your loved ones, you fear they may be insulted, but teeth whitening isn’t just for those with yellow teeth! Over time, it’s natural for teeth to become, well, not so bright! Red wine, coffee, and tea are all known for having deep pigments of color that stain your tooth enamel. Some medications have side effects that end up darkening teeth, and even age itself can dull your pearly whites! Over time, enamel gets thinner and the darker, more yellow layer referred to as dentin becomes more evident.

The dulling and yellowing of teeth is a common and very normal thing to experience, and a whiter brighter smile is something everyone desires. When you gift a loved one professional teeth whitening, you are gifting them with confidence and a bright, happy smile!

Teeth Whitening Tips from Your Bellevue Prosthodontist

There are many products and techniques available for patients who want to achieve a brighter smile, and with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the method that is right for you. The best way to begin any teeth-whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening, but for the sake of education and helping you determine if professional teeth whitening is the right gift for your loved one, here is a bit of a break down for you!

In-Office Teeth Whitening

The first professional option is commonly referred to as in-office whitening. This procedure is performed in our dental office. During an appointment, your dental professional will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. The entire office visit generally takes about 90 minutes and you will be able to see results immediately. In office teeth whitening tends to be the most popular as the results are much more effective and noticeable!

What About At-Home Teeth Whitening?

There are multiple different types of teeth whitening that can be done at home, some professional and some over the counter. It is important to be informed about the differences between these different types of teeth whitening, as the results can vary drastically.

Tray Whitening

Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening that uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. As the peroxide in the gel breaks down, hydroxy radicals help whiten stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process whitens all your natural teeth and may contain ingredients intended to provide maximum comfort. At-home professional tray whitening generally takes ten to 14 days, although you may notice results in as little as three to five days.

Paint-On Teeth Whiteners

As we mentioned, there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options, and one type of readily accessible whitening products is commonly referred to as a “paint-on” teeth whitener. Paint-on whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter and generally are less expensive and less effective than whitening strips or professional options. Paint-on teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Paint-on whitening gel hardens into a film that coats the teeth, and dissolves in the mouth. As with any teeth-whitening regimen, it is wise to consult with a dental professional before use.

Teeth-Whitening Strips

Teeth-whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The whitening agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips to ensure contact with all your teeth. Teeth-whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary, and the results are typically underwhelming compared to that of professional teeth whitening.

Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash

The least expensive options are whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. Designed to have “whitening” capabilities, toothpastes and mouthwashes work to remove surface stains using mild abrasives. However, unlike the materials used in professional whitening procedures, these products do not lighten the actual color shade of the tooth. Whitening toothpastes affect surface stains and will only potentially mildly lighten your teeth.

Are There Any Side Effects to Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is the safest and most effective procedure for getting a whiter and brighter smile. More often than not, most patients do not experience any negative side effects. However, teeth whitening could potentially create minor tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or your gums, but if experienced, these are temporary side effects. If you opt for over-the-counter teeth whitening, there is also a chance you may get white spots on the surface of your teeth as a side effect. Yet another reason professional teeth whitening is the best choice for prime results.

Give the Gift of Confidence

There you have it, the ins an outs of teeth whitening! If you want to give your loved one a bright and confident smile this holiday season, give your Bellevue prosthodontist a call at Washington State Prosthodontics!