Teeth Whitening

Are you happy with the appearance of your teeth, or do they look stained, dingy and discolored? It is rare to have gleaming white teeth and sometimes the color is down to genetics, but more often than not it owes a lot to lifestyle choices or is simply down to aging. Whatever the reason for tooth discoloration, teeth whitening is an easy and affordable way to get the whiter smile of your dreams. A quick search online or in your local drugstore will reveal a plethora of teeth whitening products, but if you truly care about your smile and want to ensure it remains strong and healthy, it is best to see a dentist and to have your teeth professionally whitened.

Why Choose a Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment?

A professional teeth whitening treatment is the safest and most effective way to brighten your smile. You only have one set of adult teeth, so it pays to take care of them and to ensure they can last, hopefully, for life. Our dentist, Dr. Scott Shumway, can ensure teeth whitening is appropriate for your needs and that it will help you to achieve your goals for treatment. An initial checkup is essential before you use any form of teeth whitening product, even if you decide you wish to go down the do-it-yourself route.

Why See a Dentist Before Teeth Whitening?

When you see Dr. Shumway before treatment, he can carefully check the condition of your teeth and gums, ensuring you do not have any signs of dental disease like tooth decay or gum disease.

Ensuring Your Mouth is Healthy Before Teeth Whitening

Whitening an unhealthy mouth could worsen these conditions and can cause sensitivity and even pain if the whitening products penetrate unhealthy teeth and gums. If you do have any signs of active dental disease, these must be treated before you can whiten safely and comfortably, and of course, the treatment will help to protect and preserve your overall dental health too!

Determining the Cause of Tooth Discoloration

It is important to determine the reason why your teeth are stained or discolored because this can affect the way they will whiten. For example, stains can be internal (intrinsic) or external (extrinsic). Teeth can become internally stained because of an old root canal treatment or perhaps because of tetracycline exposure while teeth are still developing. External stains are more likely due to lifestyle choices such as smoking or because of the foods you eat.

External stains respond well to teeth whitening treatments, whereas internal stains are harder to eliminate, and it might be necessary to have a different procedure to whiten those teeth. If you do have internally stained teeth, they might need covering entirely perhaps with a dental veneer or crown, depending on the overall condition of the tooth.

Existing Dental Restorations Won’t Whiten

Yet another important reason for seeking professional advice before whitening your teeth is because many people have crowns, bridges or white fillings, or other dental restorations. These will not change color during a whitening treatment. It’s important to be aware of this beforehand as if you have restorations, you may need to plan to replace them after you have whitened your teeth. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as restorations do need to be replaced periodically and it could be that yours are coming to the end of their life. Replacing them will help protect your teeth and newer dental restorations can look wonderful as modern materials can create a more natural appearance.

Whitening More Comfortably

When you have a professional tooth whitening treatment, you can be sure it will be safer and more comfortable because the whitening process is customized to suit your needs. If you have teeth that are slightly more sensitive, you may benefit from whitening more slowly using a lower strength whitening gel. Also, professional whitening products are designed to help reduce sensitivity, containing ingredients specifically for this purpose.

A Choice of Two Whitening Treatments

Here at Spokane Family Smiles, we offer a choice of two whitening treatments. You can whiten quickly and comfortably with an in-office treatment, or you can choose a take-home custom kit.

Whitening in Office

An in-office whitening treatment is perfect if you want results quickly. In as little as an hour, your smile will be several shades whiter and brighter. It’s the perfect treatment if you have a special event coming up or simply don’t want to wait a moment longer!

Custom Whitening Kits

A custom whitening kit will achieve the same results but takes slightly longer, typically taking several weeks to complete the treatment. With a custom kit, you receive whitening trays made to fit precisely over your teeth and which are filled with a professional whitening gel that is safe for home use. We can adjust the strength of the whitening gel to suit your needs and will show you how to fill the whitening trays and how to insert and remove them. All you have to do is use the whitening trays as directed, leaving them in for several hours or even overnight. It’s an easy treatment that can fit in with your schedule. You will begin to see results quite quickly, and it does provide you with greater control over the whitening process. Also, we can supply additional whitening gel when you need to top up the results, provided your teeth haven’t changed shape or position.

Receive Expert Advice on Making the Results Last Longer

In addition to making sure you whiten safely and effectively, we can provide you with lots of useful information on how to make the results last longer. Some easy tips include avoiding foods that could stain your teeth and especially immediately after whitening until your teeth settle down. If you do want a highly colored drink, you might want to think about investing in some reusable straws. Drinking through straws will reduce contact with your teeth. Also, make sure you visit us regularly for checkups, and especially dental cleanings will help ensure your teeth retain their healthy sparkle and we can advise you on how safely you can re-whiten teeth. It’s important not to whiten teeth too frequently as instead of making them whiter, they can end up looking dull, gray and lifeless.