Over time, your teeth can become stained, discolored, or simply dull. Eating artificially-colored foods, drinking coffee, tea, and wine, and even smoking can yellow your teeth to the point of severe staining. Do you miss that bright, white smile you had when you were young?
Although there are over-the-counter whitening treatments available, they often take up too much time and are not as effective as you’d like. For immediate and dramatic teeth whitening, we offer in-office professional whitening or at-home whitening treatments that will dramatically brighten your smile.
Before you decide an option that’s right for you, schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in Edina and Shakopee, MN to talk about the differences between in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening.
To help you get started, we have outlined some key differences below.
No matter how often you may brush your teeth, you may realize some stains are impossible to undo. Don’t stay stuck with your stained teeth forever. Mint Dental’s professional teeth whitening can easily make your teeth about eight shades whiter, all in just one hour-long appointment. Handled by professionals, the treatment is safe, quick, relaxing, and a pain-free process.
About the process:
At-home Teeth Whitening
If you choose to whiten your teeth at home, we will provide you with a personalized at-home whitening kit, including in-depth instructions. Our take-home whitening plan uses custom-made trays and whitening gel only we can offer.
The trays are fitted perfectly to your teeth, unlike strips, and are made to provide maximum comfort. Peroxide in the gel helps to break down stains, and then the hydroxyl radicals in the gel help to whiten the stained teeth.
The stronger the bleaching formula, the faster it will work, and the less time it should stay on your teeth. The opposite applies to a weaker bleaching agent. Gentler products are designed to be left on overnight, whereas the stronger agents require only 30 to 60 minutes each day. Too much exposure to the bleaching agents can potentially damage tooth enamel, irritate gum tissue, and cause sensitivity. Your dentist and hygienist will work with you to determine which formula strength is best for you.
Teeth whitening is safe when performed by a professional dentist who has been highly trained in the administration of high concentrations of peroxide. They know exactly how to protect your gums from exposure, how long to leave the treatment on, and how much of the product to use.
In contrast, using over-the-counter whitening products that are not ADA-approved puts you at higher risk of damaging your tooth enamel and experiencing tooth sensitivity. Scientific studies have been conducted to determine the safety of bleaching agents and the stronger the whitening agent is, the shorter the exposure time should be.
Dentists are highly trained in this aspect and will not expose your enamel to damage because they know exactly how long to leave the peroxide on your teeth. The use of peroxides in dentistry is also heavily regulated so you can be sure that we aren’t applying chemicals to your teeth that will cause you harm.
When using over-the-counter whitening kits, it is easy to misunderstand or fail to follow directions, use too much product, or leave it on for too long. This can result in damage to your enamel, gums, nerves, and can even cause infection.
Will Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Temporary tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of professional whitening treatments. It does not necessarily happen every time but the hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in the whitening agent causes demineralization of the tooth enamel, exposing the tiny pores called dentinal tubules in your teeth.
These dentinal tubules are attached to your tooth’s nerves which are responsible for sensation so it is normal to experience hypersensitivity when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, sweet, sour, or acidic foods, and air.
This is only temporary and will dissipate within about 48 hours when your enamel remineralizes itself. There are steps you can take to reduce sensitivity and manage discomfort such as:
How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?
The average lifespan of a whitening treatment ranges from as little as 6 months to as long as 3 years. However, the duration of your pearly-white-results can be affected by your age, lifestyle, oral hygiene, and diet. To get the most out of your whitening treatment, you should brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (and don’t forget to floss).
You will need to reduce your consumption of staining foods and drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea, and highly pigmented foods. Drinking through a straw will limit contact between the staining drink and your teeth.
If you aren’t able to eliminate or reduce these foods and drinks, you should rinse your mouth after eating or drinking. The most important thing you can do to maintain your newly white teeth is to return to the dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning to remove surface stains and plaque buildup.
Great and friendly service. Everyone was smiling all around. Very professional, and my teeth feel great. I definitely recommend!
Mill (Mint Dental Patient)