LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA- More and more people are seeking out a whiter, brighter smile with teeth whitening. But bleaching is not a one-size-fits-all procedure since people have different goals and varying levels of staining.
“There are a variety of teeth whitening systems available, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter strips and trays, and whitening systems obtained from your dentist,” says Dr. David Alpan, a Los Angeles braces for children and adults provider.
He says the following five factors should be taken into consideration before someone makes a decision about treatment to avoid spending money on products that do not provide the desired results.
- Teeth whitening is not for everyone. The first step in choosing a whitening procedure starts at the family dentist.”Your dentist examines the type and extent of staining and the condition of your teeth and gums to determine if you are a good candidate for bleaching or whitening,” says Dr. Alpan, a hidden braces provider.
- Figure out the desired result. People looking for a cleaner, brighter smile may opt for whitening toothpastes and professional cleanings that use polishing agents to eliminate surface stains. These stains can be caused by coffee, wine, dark sodas and tobacco and may make teeth look dark or yellow. “Some people want noticeably whiter teeth, the dazzling white smile,” says Dr. Alpan, a children’s orthodontic expert. “To get their desired result, they will need to consider bleaching.” Over-the-counter bleaching systems will lighten teeth one to three shades, whereas professional whitening systems can whiten teeth up to eight shades.
- Consider existing dental restorations. Certain types of dental restorations, such as tooth-colored fillings, crowns and veneers, cannot be bleached or whitened. “Bleaching restored teeth may make these natural-looking restorations stand out and give an uneven, artificial appearance,” cautions Dr.
- Alpan, a children’s braces provider. “If you have restorations, especially in the front teeth, consult your dentist before whitening.”
- Take timeframe into account. Over-the-counter and professional home bleaching systems provide noticeable results in a few days, and achieve maximum whitening in two to four weeks. For patients with a shorter timeframe in mind, professional, in office whitening provides the fastest improvement and dramatic results after just one 30- to 60-minute treatment.
- Have realistic expectations. Clean, white teeth give a healthy, youthful appearance to a smile, but Dr. Alpan cautions people to not go too white. Striving for unnaturally white teeth may leave patients with teeth that appear translucent or artificial. The most natural appearance for teeth is a shade slightly whiter than the whites of your eyes, he says.
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