Tooth enamel comes in different shades and may change over time. While there are a variety of methods available that can help whiten teeth, they might not all be right for you.
If you’d like to whiten your teeth, the dental professionals at Van Ness Family Dentistry are more than happy to review all of your options with you. We’ve been helping patients in San Francisco, Oakland, Freemont, San Jose, and the surrounding areas for years get the white smiles they’ve always wanted.
Why aren’t my teeth white?
There are a few different reasons why your teeth are not as white as you’d like. Some causes may be associated with:
- Tobacco use
- Contact with certain foods or drinks
- Excess fluoride during tooth development
Despite the reasons for the state of your teeth, with today’s technology, there are many different options to brighten your smile.
How can I whiten my teeth?
Self-ApplicationsThere are a range of at-home processes you may use to whiten your teeth. Whitening toothpastes, strips, and trays are some of the more common options.
ToothpasteThis is the gentlest kind of whitening technique. You can use whitening toothpaste at home without the supervision of a dental professional. This technique usually doesn’t have side effects because it whitens using a polishing action instead of chemicals. Whitening toothpaste can lighten your teeth, but it will not get your teeth as white as other products containing harsh chemicals. When used correctly, it should whiten your teeth slowly over a few days or weeks. While most whitening toothpastes can easily be bought over the counter, they have not all earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. In regards to oral hygiene, it is best to use products that have been reviewed by the ADA and carry their Seal of Acceptance.
StripsMany brands offer over-the-counter whitening strips. While they can produce the results you desire, they should only be used as directed. If you have any concerns, contact a dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for at-home whitening strips.
TraysDental professionals can custom fit a tray for your teeth that you take home and use with whitening gel to brighten your teeth. Be sure to ask your dentist any questions you may have regarding this procedure.
Office TreatmentsFor tougher stains, quicker change, and a bigger difference, an in-office whitening treatment might be right for you. Dental professionals are specially trained to administer a higher dosage of peroxide to get your teeth whiter than you can at home. A laser or light may also be used along with the peroxide. To protect your gums, the dental professionals may use a gel or thin sheet of rubber. While in-office treatments cannot be done at home, the process is very quick and the most effective.
How do I take care of my teeth after a whitening treatment?
If you are utilizing a toothpaste or strips, carefully follow the instructions included in the packaging. When being fitted for a dental tray or treated for other in-office whitening procedures, the dental professionals will instruct you on how to take care of your teeth after your treatment. In some cases, your teeth and gums may be sensitive or susceptible after a whitening session. To promote white teeth, avoid stain-causing foods, drinks, and tobacco.
Van Ness Family Dentistry loves seeing the joy a whiter smile can bring to patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Freemont, San Jose, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today at (415) 487-1500 to schedule an appointment to go over the ways we can bring that joy into your life!