Are you looking to brighten your smile and wondering if a dentist can help? The answer is yes! Dentists like Dr. Bestandji at Canal Vista Family Dental in Princeton, NJ, offer professional teeth whitening services that can help you achieve a brighter, more confident smile.
With so many different teeth whitening options on the market, it can be confusing as to whether it’s best to whiten your teeth with a dentist near you or use an over-the-counter (OTC) kit. Here’s everything you need to know before committing to a specific teeth bleaching system.
Teeth Whitening Home Kit vs. Dentist
Today, teeth whitening home kits are a popular option because they are highly convenient and available at practically every supermarket, not to mention online. However, the results of home kits can vary greatly and are often not as effective as professional whitening. Why? Home kits use a lower concentration of the active whitening ingredient, which means it may take longer to achieve the desired results or physically can’t whiten your teeth as much as a professional system. Additionally, if the kit is not used correctly, it can cause sensitivity and damage to your teeth and gums. Last but not least, the way the strips, trays, or gels work can easily skip over areas of your smile, leaving you with splotchy-looking, uneven results. Like when a whitening strip skips over the curves on the sides of your teeth or gel doesn’t totally cover each tooth that shows when you smile.
Professional teeth whitening, on the other hand, is a safe and effective option for achieving a significantly brighter smile. Dentists use a higher concentration of the active whitening ingredient and can customize the treatment to your specific needs. That means whiter teeth in less time. The system is also optimized to protect your gums and teeth during the procedure, minimizing the risk of sensitivity or gum irritation.
Depending on your needs, a dentist can offer various options for teeth whitening, such as same-day treatment or a custom whitening tray set where you use professional-grade gel at home.
Who is a Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?
Professional teeth whitening is a good option for most adults and older teens who have healthy teeth and gums. However, it may not be suitable for everyone. Our Princeton dentist will need to screen you for periodontal disease, gum recession, and tooth decay first. Additionally, we recommend waiting to whiten your teeth if you’re currently nursing or pregnant.
How Much is Teeth Whitening at Dentist?
The cost of teeth whitening at the dentist can vary depending on the type of treatment and even where you live. While professional teeth whitening may seem more expensive than home kits, it may actually wind up saving you money. Because instead of re-purchasing a new OTC kit every few months, your professional system is more effective.
And if you have a custom at-home kit, you may only need to purchase a small refill tube of bleaching gel once a year or so (which is very affordable.) At Canal Vista Family Dental, we offer several options for professional teeth whitening, including in-office treatments and take-home kits. During your consultation, Dr. Bestandji will discuss the best options for you and provide a cost estimate based on your individual needs.
How Much is Teeth Whitening at Dentist With Insurance?
The cost of teeth whitening at the dentist with insurance is usually the same as paying for it without insurance. That’s because most dental insurance policies do not cover elective, cosmetic treatments like whitening or even veneers.
Best Time to Whiten Teeth
The best time to whiten your teeth is right after a professional dental cleaning and before updating any dental work. That’s because any dental restorations, such as fillings or crowns, will not be affected by the whitening treatment. The best thing to do is whiten your teeth beforehand, then update your restorations to match the brighter, new shade of your natural smile.
When you whiten your teeth after a dental cleaning, you’re ensuring that the whitening gel is able to penetrate the surface of your teeth more effectively, resulting in brighter results in far less time.
Remember, there are times to wait to whiten your teeth. Like if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have active dental diseases like periodontitis. Dr. Bestandji can work with you to create an ideal timeline about how and when to whiten your teeth if you do have active tooth decay.
How to Maintain Your Teeth Whitening Results
After investing time and money into a teeth whitening treatment, it’s important to maintain your results so that your smile stays white as long as possible. Here are some tips for maintaining your teeth whitening results:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. This will help remove surface stains and prevent new ones from forming.
- Avoid stain-causing foods and drinks. Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark berries, can cause stains on your teeth. Limit your intake of these items or rinse your mouth out with water right afterward to minimize new stains from forming.
- Use a straw (reusable, of course!) When drinking dark liquids, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
- Quit smoking and vaping. Smoking not only stains your teeth but also increases the risk of oral cancer and other dental problems. Giving up tobacco and similar products will not only improve your oral health but also prevent further staining.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings. Professional dental cleanings can help remove any surface stains and prevent new ones from forming. Our Princeton dentist can also provide touch-up whitening recommendations as needed.
- Use touch-up treatments. Depending on the type of whitening Dr. Bestandji recommends, you may want to have some touch-ups throughout the year. If you have a home kit, we recommend touching up for a few days at least twice a year after your routine dental checkups.
At Canal Vista Family Dental in Princeton, NJ, Dr. Bestandji and our team are dedicated to helping you achieve a brighter, more confident smile. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dental treatments.