Everyone wants to have that perfectly white Hollywood smile, so naturally, the topic of teeth whitening comes up frequently. With so much information circulating and new trends making way, it can be tough to know what direction to go to finally get those pearly whites you have always wanted. Knowing your options is the best place to start!
Consult Your Dentist
Just like you would want to consult your doctor before trying a new medication or diet, you definitely want to get advice from your family dentist if you decide to whiten your teeth. They will have the best insight on what is ideal for your current situation because they know your oral health best. They will know whether you have intrinsic or extrinsic discoloration (whether your discoloration stems from external or internal issues), what your gums need to stay healthy, and they can give you the best advice for maintaining whiter teeth after your treatment.
It is likely that your best and safest option for teeth whitening is going to be done by your dentist. One of the benefits of taking this route (aside from a catered approach by a professional) is the speed at which you get results. If you have a specific event coming up like a reunion or wedding and you want your teeth whitened quickly, your dentist might be able to get results in a single appointment depending on your type and level of discoloration.
It is also possible that your dentist will recommend at home teeth whitening where they make custom fit trays and give you a concentrated hydrogen peroxide mix. These are typically worn for a half to full hour a day for a designated amount of time to achieve your desired result. Choosing between these two methods (in office or at home) is a great conversation to have with your dentist in order to decide on your needs for optimal oral health.
After consulting and getting approval from your dentist, you might decide to take an over the counter approach for your teeth whitening. This can be a good option if you have extrinsic discoloration from food or beverage consumption (who hasn’t suffered from coffee stained teeth?). When taking an over the counter approach, there are a few things to be cautious of. For starters, be very aware of the application instructions and follow them. Secondly, it is always important to look for a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance because this will give you the added confidence that the product is both safe and effective. If you have any questions about a specific product on the shelf, definitely ask your dentist to get their professional and informed opinion.
Whitening Toothpaste and/or Mouthwash
If you are willing to give your teeth whitening a little more time than the strips option, a good choice might be to switch to an ADA approved whitening toothpaste and mouthwash. This is a slightly less harsh approach, and it is also more affordable than the strips. But, again, if you already suffer from any kind of tooth sensitivity, gum problems, or think you might have a cavity developing, consult your dentist before making the switch.
Wishing for a whiter smile? Contact Carothers Family Dental, a San Marcos dental office, to learn more about safe whitening options.