When was the last time you walked down the oral care aisle at your local pharmacy or grocery store? Along with the toothbrushes and floss, did you notice the whole host of products touting their whitening capabilities? From toothpastes and mouthwashes to chewing gum and gels, there are seemingly countless products that claim they can give you a beautiful, white smile. But have you tried them in the past, only to be disappointed by the results? Or, do you know from the ads that your smile is more stained than many of these products are able to address? If so, there are a lot of compelling reasons to talk with your cosmetic dentist. Professional whitening might just be the best way to improve your smile’s appearance, and it could save you a lot of time and frustration trying out all those over-the-counter options, too.
When Is Professional Whitening the Answer?
There are certainly some over-the-counter products that can lighten teeth, but few are designed to do so as efficiently as professional whitening, or with as dramatic of results. That is because only whitening provided by your cosmetic dentist utilizes professional-grade products, often combined with a special light to activate them, so that your teeth can become dramatically lighter in very little time.
For many patients this means seven to ten shades of lightening through the course of a single treatment, whether that be in-office whitening, or a take-home option.
Though not every patient needs professional treatment, anyone with severe staining or discoloration should certainly contact his or her cosmetic dentist to determine the best course of action. In many cases professional whitening is sufficient to achieve a bright smile, but in some cases bonding or veneers may actually be necessary.