How Can a Cosmetic Dentist Help You Achieve a Beautiful Smile?
Did you know that your smile is one of the first things that others notice about you?
According to a survey, 53% of people noticed a person’s teeth and smile when they first meet them. Additionally, people with attractive smiles are perceived to be happier, more trustworthy, and even more successful. But the real secret to a beautiful smile is not just good genetics – it is usually cosmetic teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is a popular practice that many people use to improve the appearance of their smile. Having healthy, white teeth can give you the confidence to smile more and be proud of your pearly whites!
If you have never had your teeth whitened before, you may have some concerns or questions about its implication on the health of your teeth. You may even wonder if cosmetic teeth whitening is the best option for you in the first place!
Here’s everything you need to know about having whitening your teeth and why cosmetic dentistry is the way to go.
1. Signs You May Need Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
Slight teeth discoloration is completely natural and most of us experience staining due to our lifestyle choices and habits. This is called extrinsic tooth discoloration – since it only affects the exterior enamel of the tooth.
Coffee, tea, dark sodas, and red wine are the most common culprits for teeth discoloration. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth a yellow or brown color, which makes the teeth look unhealthy. Some foods that are highly acidic or dark in color can stain teeth, such as tomato sauce, chocolate, fruit juice, vinegar, and soy sauce.
The color of your teeth may also change with age as your enamel becomes thinner or chips away. This leaves your teeth less protected from staining agents, which causes them to yellow.
Poor dental hygiene can also change the color of your smile. Tartar and plaque buildup can make your teeth look yellow and discolored – which is just another reason why you need to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings!
Teeth may also be discolored due to intrinsic or internal issues. Intrinsic stains can be caused by medications, trauma to the tooth, decay, or genetics. These often make the teeth appear greyer, rather than yellow or brown.
Extrinsic discoloration can be corrected with cosmetic teeth whitening. Most teeth whitening methods use peroxide bleach solutions to remove these stains from the enamel of the tooth. However, if you have intrinsic staining or your teeth are discolored from aging, medication, or damage, you should discuss options with your dentist.
2. Professional Teeth Whitening vs At-Home Treatments
There are plenty of over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments available that promise dramatic results. These options are extremely popular and it’s estimated that over 40 million people use teeth whitening products! However, you should be cautious about these types of treatments.
Whitening treatments use strong chemicals that bleach the tooth’s enamel to make them whiter. So, if you do not use the treatment correctly, use it too often, or leave it on for too long, it can cause significant damage to your teeth. At-home whitening treatments can wear away the enamel and also damage your gums if it is not used as directed.
Going to your dentist for professional cosmetic teeth whitening is a much better choice. Dentists are specially trained to use whitening treatments and adjust the formulas based on the individual’s needs and health factors. A dentist can help you whiten your smile safety without compromising the health of your teeth and mouth.
3. What You Need to Know Before Your Cosmetic Teeth Whitening Appointment
First and foremost, you should consult with your dentist to see if cosmetic teeth whitening is the best option for you. If you have gum disease, dental implants, or decay, you might not qualify for this type of treatment.
Once your dentist gives you the “ok” for teeth whitening, there are some things you should know so you can be prepared for your treatment.
A. Before You Go
Cosmetic teeth whitening treatments range in cost, depending on the severity of the stains and the type of treatment. A traditional peroxide bleaching is usually a few hundred dollars, while a more intense laser whitening treatment may be over $1,000.
Most dental insurance companies do not offer coverage for whitening treatments if they are cosmetic – but check with your provider to be sure. Some dentists offer payment plans to make this option more affordable.
To avoid any issues with your whitening treatment, it is recommended that you gently brush your teeth before your appointment. Avoid eating or drinking acidic items – like coffee or juice -and don’t use mouthwash the day of your treatment.
B. During Your Whitening
First, you will discuss expectations with your doctors to see which shade you can expect after the treatment is complete. Your dentist will then create a mold of your teeth for the whitening tray, which will hold the whitening solution.
The whitening gel or paste is then applied to the teeth and tray. Teeth whitening treatments are designed to be painless and most appointments will last between thirty minutes to an hour. If you start to experience extreme sensitivity or pain during the whitening, let your dentist know immediately.
C. After Your Appointment
It is recommended that you avoid drinking anything but water for the first 24 to 48 hours after whitening. You should also eat non-acidic, non-staining foods for a few days to see the best results.
Teeth whitening treatments generally last for six months to two years. But to make the effects last even longer, you should focus on improving your dental health. Keep up with regular cleaning appointments, floss, and brush every day, and avoid things that can stain your teeth as much as possible.
Teeth whitening may make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold food and beverages. Your doctor may recommend switching to a toothpaste for sensitivity to help with this issue. However, if you have any extreme discomfort or notice changes in your teeth, speak to your dentist.
A bright, healthy smile can help you feel more confident in yourself. Cosmetic teeth whitening can make a big difference in your appearance – and when done by a professional, it won’t impact the health of your teeth or gums.
At Jones & Copeland Smiles, we offer numerous treatments to help our clients get the smile they have always dreamed of. We offer Kör Whitening treatments for the best results, along with teeth straightening and cosmetic implants for customized solutions.
If you want to learn more about cosmetic teeth whitening, reach out to Jones & Copeland Smiles today. You can schedule your first appointment online for a consultation to see which solutions are the best option for you!