At the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, professional teeth whitening is both our most popular and our fastest option for domestic dentistry procedures. Every year, we treat countless patients who have tried over-the-counter teeth whitening products. But these one-size-fits-all approaches to teeth whitening are completely ineffective for many of our patients. They try these products and wait weeks, only to see moderate to nonexistent results.
Even worse, over-the-counter whitening products often cause pain and discomfort. Whitening agents can irritate your gums, and over-the-counter whitening products aren’t designed to offer any protection for one of the most sensitive areas of your body. As a result, patients get frustrated and forget ability the idea of teeth whitening.
Do All Whitening Products Work the Same on All Tooth Stains?
No—how effective whitening products are will depend on the type of stain and the color of the stain. For instance, yellow stained teeth are more effectively treated with whitening products than brown stained teeth. In general, dark stains may be better treated with alternative whitening options whereas lighter or more neutral stains can be treated with whitening products.
Will I Need to Do A Follow Up to Office Whitening?
It’s possible that your dentist will want to see you again just to check on how your gums are doing after a whitening procedure. If you plan on whitening your teeth at home, you should consult a dentist first; they may want to keep an eye on your progress and make sure that your gums aren’t becoming damaged.
Do I Need to Do Touch-Ups?
Yes. Even if you avoid all of the foods and drinks that can cause staining, the whitening effects will eventually wear down and you will need a touch-up or even a full treatment. If you maintain perfect oral hygiene and avoid any stain-causing foods and drinks, then you will likely get away with having a year or more in between treatments.
How Do I Make Sure My Whitened Smile Stays White?
After you’ve had your teeth whitened, you’ll need to be careful to avoid doing anything that could cause our whitened smile to fade quickly. The following are some essential rules you need to follow after having your teeth whitened.
- Do not drink or eat anything that can stain your teeth; if you must drink something that could stain, use a straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using a non-staining antiseptic rinse
- Get touch up treatments; you can benefit from touch up treatments every few months to keep your smile as white as possible.
Are There Side Effects to Getting My Teeth Whitened?
There are two side effects which you may experience after getting your teeth whitened, whether you have them whitened professionally or you do it yourself at home. These side effects are an increase in overall tooth sensitivity as well as irritation on the soft tissues inside the mouth, especially in the gum area. Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by the bleaching products used to whiten teeth, whereas soft tissue irritation is usually caused by poorly fitting whitening trays. These side effects should go away within 1 to 3 days.
You can reduce your sensitivity from whitening in a few ways:
- Reduce the amount of time you keep your tray in
- Cease using whitening products for 2-4 days to allow your teeth time to adjust
- Consult with your dentist about being prescribed a product with a high fluoride count so that you can use it with your whitening tray
- Use sensitive toothpaste which contains potassium nitrate, a soothing agent
Which Whitening Products Are Safe and Effective?
Only select whitening products have officially received the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means that they meet all of the standards required by the ADA to indicate a product’s consumer safety and consumer effectiveness. At this time, no over the counter tooth whitening products have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Certain whitening toothpastes do have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. However, a note: not every whitening product or tooth related product manufacturer decides to pursue the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which is a voluntary program.
Will My Insurance Cover Tooth Whitening?
Almost certainly no, your insurance will not cover the cost of tooth whitening in the dentist’s office or at home.
Can Tooth Whitening Damage Enamel?
Whitening products which use 10% carbamide peroxide to achieve their whitening effect have little to no effect on enamel.
Can Tooth Whitening Damage My Dental Work?
No. There have been no incidents which indicate that whitening products containing 10% carbamide peroxide have ever damaged dental work such as bridges, crowns, filings, and so on. However, it should be noted that your existing dental work cannot be lightened, so if it is in a visible place then you will need a replacement dental work that matches your new smile.
Why are my teeth getting stained?
Your teeth may become stained for several reasons. Certain consumables, such as tobacco and specific foods, can stain your teeth when consumed over a lengthy period of time. Coffee and tea are particularly damaging to the whiteness of your smile, as are any foods with a relatively high acidity level.
Can Tooth Whitening Damage My Nerves?
No. There is no current evidence that getting your teeth whitened can damage the nerves of your teeth.
Stains on your teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, such as tooth decay as well as various foods and beverages which contain any number of stain-causing ingredients. Common foods that will cause tooth staining over tie include: tomato sauce, red wine, coffee, tea, berry juices as blueberry and cranberry juice; dark soda pops; balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and more.
What Are Extrinsic and Intrinsic Teeth Staining?
External staining is caused by factors such as:
- Using tobacco products
- Consuming dark colored foods and drinks
- Consuming sugary foods and drinks
- Wear and tear over time
External stains are fairly easy to manage and control with some well-placed treatments such as using mildly abrasive toothpastes to remove stains; as well as visiting the dentist for a teeth cleaning to remove surface stains.
Internal tooth discolorations are caused by factors such as:
- Aging over time
- Using certain medications
- Trauma to the tooth
- Drinking water with fluoride
Unlike external stains, internal stains cannot be removed by brushing, cleaning or similar methods. The only way to manage teeth with internal stains is to cover them up with porcelain veneers.
Foods Which Can Cause Stains:
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Tomato Sauce
Drinks Which Can Cause Stains:
- Black coffee
- Soda pop
- Fruit juice
- Sports Drinks
In addition to the above food and beverages that can cause stains, smoking and/or chewing tobacco can also cause staining on teeth.
How to Prevent and Remove Stains Yourself
If you want to tackle the stains on your teeth yourself, there are a few things you can do.
- Chew sugarless gum after you eat or drink; the sugarless gum will remove food and drink debris and thus reduce chances for staining
- Avoiding using whitening toothpastes too much; using them too much can wear down your enamel and make your teeth more sensitive to staining
- Sip water in between bites of food and drinks to decrease staining chances
- Use “natural” teeth cleaners such as a variety of fruits and veggies to help remove stain-causing debris
- Do not brush your teeth until at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten something which can cause stains (or is acidic)
- Use a straw; if you’ll be drinking anything that can cause stains (Such as coffee or soda pop) then drinking through a straw is the best way to keep it away from your teeth.
- In addition to these above methods, you can purchase at-home teeth whitening options.
Tooth Discoloration: When At Home Treatments Aren’t Enough
If you can’t seem to get rid of stains on your teeth no matter what you do at home, you should consult with your dentist about your concerns. They will able to help consult with you about your best options.
How do I whiten my teeth?
There are many ways to whiten your teeth. The most effective and safe way is to get them whitened from your dentist, either in the office or by using special take-home trays offered by your dentist’s office. The in-office whitening treatment is the strongest and will give you the best results. You can also try over the counter whiteners with the ADA seal; you may see results with whitening toothpaste, although results from whitening toothpaste are typically not as dramatic as whitening via clinical whitening procedures. If you have your teeth professional whitened at the dental office, you can expect the results to last a few years, as long as all of the rules are being followed.
Zoom! teeth whitening at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, can help if your teeth are stained or discolored for any of reason. We can erase all kinds of stains such that were caused by red wine, soda, brightly-colored foods like candy or fruit, tobacco use, or medications.
At the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we often recommend our patients have their teeth cleaned before undergoing professional teeth whitening. Then during your teeth whitening appointment, we’ll take numerous steps to protect your gums and teeth from any pain or discomfort. After a protective layer has been placed over your gums and lips, we apply prescription strength whitening gel onto your teeth. We then use the patented Zoom! whitening lamp to accelerate the whitening of your teeth.
IN HOME WHITENING KIT
We also offer the at-home Zoom! whitening treatment at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX. This professional teeth whitening option allows you to whiten your teeth at home, in comfort. Zoom! at-home whitening is significantly faster than over-the-counter teeth whitening products. With Zoom! you can see incredible results in just about a week.
Like the in-office Zoom! whitening treatment, your take-home kit won’t cause you pain or discomfort. Zoom! is specially formulated with desensitizing ingredients to prevent your gums or teeth from becoming irritated. Zoom! can deliver results that last as long as a year. Best of all our take-home whitening kit is even more affordable than in-office whitening treatments.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
Are you ready to whiten your teeth? Then skip the over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments which will only cause you pain and discomfort. Instead, choose professional teeth whitening at the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX. You can schedule an appointment at our office by calling 713-497-1499.