Let’s be honest: We’d all love a smile like the Rock’s. A healthy pearly white smile is considered a symbol of beauty, but not everybody can be so lucky. Years of smoking, wine, coffee, and other foods and drinks can permanently stain the teeth.Yet teeth have such a big impact on not only your appearance, but also confidence, social interactions, dating, and even earning potential. That’s why teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures our patients ask us about in Cincinnati.
But is cosmetic dentistry right for you? If so, what procedure will work best for your particular situation?
First Things First: Healthy Diet, Great Oral Care, Regular Cleanings
As dentists, we know we can sound like a broken record to our Evendale and Cincinnati patients. Yet we still insist because it’s true. A healthy diet, combined with regular brushing and flossing as well as 6 month cleanings and checkups, is so important to your oral health. See, the best teeth whitening procedure we can recommend is to follow a lifestyle that won’t need teeth whitening as you age.
Sure, we’ll tell you your teeth need whitening because of those 20 years of smoking, the red wine, all that coffee you drink to fuel the morning. And that’s true. But those things have only have such a big impact on the whiteness of your teeth because you didn’t take care of them. You smoked. You drank red wine at a fancy dinner, and then went to bed without brushing. You drink a gallon of coffee but don’t follow it up with a morning brush or even a healthy drink of water. We’ve all been there. Yet the sooner you are able to follow a healthy lifestyle — quit smoking, brush regularly before bed, brush in the morning and drink water regularly throughout the day — the less likely you’ll need teeth whitening later down the road. Start protecting those pearly whites now. In fact, you should probably drink or swish water after you read this. Go ahead. We’ll wait.
Over the Counter Teeth Remedies
Aside from the great oral care mentioned above, this is probably your cheapest method when it comes to teeth whitening. Yet like most things in life, there’s a cost to cheap. Over the counter methods can be effective, but for best results try to apply them evenly on your teeth and always leave them on for the recommended time.
But remember that over the counter strips do not work on caps, crowns, or fillings. If you’ve had a lot of dental work done, you should consult with your Sharonville dentist to see what effect these strips may have. In fact, you really should consult with your dentist before attempting any whitening procedure. The discoloration may not be a result of stains at all but a more serious condition that won’t go away with the whitening. If the condition is more serious, it will likely require professional dental work and may in fact get worse over time.
See a Cosmetic Dentist for Professional Whitening
At about $500 to $1,000 per procedure, seeing a cosmetic dentist for professional whitening is certainly the more expensive option, but the results can be absolutely dazzling. And keep in mind that since the procedure is purely cosmetic, most dental insurance plans won’t cover it. You’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
Yet a professional procedure can use concentrations as high as 35% (compared to 10 to 15% for over the counter) and you get a much more uniform application. The results can be very impressive.
It’s also important not to overdo it because the procedure can cause permanent damage to your enamel. With a professional, he or she can best advise you as to how much is just enough in order to protect the surface area of your teeth