Some Hidden Truths about Teeth Whitening

I’ve been whitening people’s teeth for a while now (including my own), so I know a few things about it. I want to clarify some truths about teeth whitening that you probably aren’t aware of.

How Common is Teeth Whitening?

To begin with, teeth whitening has become very common. If you’re a reliable brusher and flosser, it’s not something you necessarily have to do, but lots of people are interested in it and lots of people are doing it these days.

Like many dental practices, we’ll give away a free teeth whitening as a first time patient type of thing. After that, you’ll have to come in periodically to keep up the whitening.

How Often Should You Whiten Your Teeth?

Whitening your teeth is a lot about personal preference.

One question to consider is: How white do you want your teeth?

Another to ask yourself is: How often will I have to get my teeth whitened to achieve that look?

Modern Dental Teeth Whitening

There’s no hard and fast rule about it, but I tend to liken teeth whitening to wearing a white T shirt. If you wear your white T shirt around the house in the air conditioning, that’s totally different than going outside and mowing the lawn in it. That white T shirt might stay white for a long time if you stay inside, but it’ll get stained if you’re exposing it to hard labor.

The same is true about your whitened teeth. Are you “working them” hard by drinking coffee and red wine, eating berries, and chomping on hard, crunchy foods? Or are you being mindful about eating things that will keep them nice and white?

With that said, you can probably go once per year with a professional whitening, or even a few years if you’re still happy with the results. Your mileage will vary.

How Do You Prevent Tooth Sensitivity from Whitening?

Tooth sensitivity from whitening is just one of those things that’s hard to predict. Some people never seem to get it, while other people get it all the time.

There are a few things you can do to help sensitivity, though!

  1. Take some Ibuprofen before the procedure to reduce inflammation afterwards.
  2. Use a fluoride gel after the procedure.
  3. Reduce the frequency of treatment.

Some combination of these should help keep tooth sensitivity under control.

Why Should You Bleach at a Dentist’s Office?

I know that some dentists will disagree with me on this, but I personally think that at-home strips and trays for whitening are about as effective as an in-office whitening. If that’s true, then why should you bother coming in for a whitening at Modern Dental?

The simple answer is convenience. You come in for an hour and a half and then it’s done. Trays and strips are time consuming and yet another item on your to-do list. I find it nice to be able to have my teeth bleached and call it done for a while.

That should hopefully help you as you make some decisions about teeth whitening. As always, if you have any questions about the process, give us a call at Modern Dental!

~Dr. Wagner

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