Everybody loves a bright, white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.
Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at Dr. Miller’s office. If you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, we provide several options to help!
You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:
- Professional in-office whitening
- Professional at-home whitening
- Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and products
Professional In-Office Whitening
If you are a candidate for in office whitening, this is a simple, painless procedure that can provide optimum whitening in just one visit.
During in office whitening, we apply either a protective barrier to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A whitening agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. This process is usually repeated 2-4 times in one visit depending on the amount of whitening desired. The main advantage of choosing the in-office procedure is that great results are produced in just one visit.
Professional At-Home Whitening
This also is a simple and painless procedure. Impressions or molds of your teeth are made in our office, and then we fabricate custom fitting trays to precisely hold whitening gel against your teeth. You take the trays home along with the professional whitening gel, and the whitening happens at home. You place the provided whitening gel in your trays and put them in for 30-60 minutes once or twice daily. At-home whitening is just as effective as in-office whitening; however it can take weeks or more of consistent daily use to achieve the same results. The main advantage of at-home whitening is that it is less expensive than an in-office procedure.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Toothpastes And Products
There are several types of products available for use at home, which can be purchased over-the-counter. All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. “Whitening” toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike professional whitening products, these ADA accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth; however they are very helpful in preventing further accumulation of stain after professional whitening procedures.
All whitening procedures we provide and recommend are safe and do not in any way harm the enamel of your teeth. The only true contraindications to whitening procedures are pregnancy and true allergies (which are extremely rare) to the products found in the whitening materials.
The main side effect of all whitening products is transient sensitivity. Teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the whitening solution. This sensitivity is temporary and will lessen and eventually go away once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience minor soft tissue irritation. This is also typically transient and goes away after you have completed treatment. If you have concerns about such side effects, you should discuss them with the team at Dr. Miller’s office. We have several protocols in place to minimize these side effects, as well as several techniques to make this a fun and easy cosmetic transformation!