If your plans for the season include teeth whitening, Jacksonville’s Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry has a few tips to help you prepare. The better condition your teeth are in from the start, the better your teeth whitening results will be.
- Clean up. Your teeth whitening process should start with a professional dental cleaning by a dentist. No amount of brushing and flossing will fully remove plaque and tartar deposits that build up over time like a professional teeth cleaning will. Getting your teeth whitened without first getting them cleaned is a lot like trying to polish or paint a table without first removing the dust. Plus, a dental cleaning will help undercover any more urgent issues that may need to be addressed first, such as cavities, gum disease or exposed roots. If your teeth are sensitive, start brushing with a desensitizing toothbrush several weeks before your appointment.
- Study up. Make sure your expectations are on point. Even if you’re in great dental help, teeth whitening won’t be as effective with certain tooth discolorations. Whitening processes are most effective on extrinsic stains formed on the surface of the tooth and typically caused by smoking, eating and drinking. Intrinsic stains that develop beneath the tooth enamel may not be improved by teeth whitening at all. Yellowish stains are easy to whiten – brown or grey stains are not. Also, know that materials in tooth veneers, dental caps or dental crowns won’t be affected by teeth whitening agents. So, their color may stick out like a sore thumb among the gleaming white teeth surrounding them.
- Follow up. This is particularly important if you choose a teeth whitening approach that includes an at-home factor. Prep work takes time and the wear-at-home molds or other devices aren’t always comfortable. But if you slack on your part, then your results will be lackluster. Talk with your dentist at length to make sure you’re aware of all that’s involved. Decide whether your schedule (or your patience level) comfortably allows for doing your part and whether you’re willing to give up bad dental habits that could mar your beautiful results in the future. Follow up appointments with your dentist also are a must to check your progress.