"I've Been Thinking About Whitening my Teeth..."
"I've been thinking about whitening my teeth. Do you think I should?" This is a common question in our office. Our reply to that question probably violates all of the grammar rules our teachers ever taught us about not answering a question with another question, but the real answer to that question is....do you WANT to whiten? Of course you want to, or you wouldn't have asked, right? Now that we've solved that riddle...
"Why are my teeth so dark?" Welcome to Stains 101!
Your original tooth color (even before staining comes into play) is dictated by your own biological makeup and everyone will lighten differently. Keeping that thought in mind, there are two types of stains - intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic stains occur on the outer layer of your enamel, with the most common culprits being foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, colas, dark berries (such as blueberries), and nicotine (whether it is smoked, chewed or vaped). Intrinsic stains are discolorations that lie deeper within the structure of your teeth, with the most common causes being medications (such as tetracycline), weakened enamel (which allows items that cause extrinsic stains to penetrate deeper), decay, and hereditary conditions.
"How should I whiten my teeth?" 1,2
The first real step into whitening your teeth is to have a dental checkup and cleaning. The cleaning will remove calculus deposits that have built up so that teeth are more receptive to the bleaching. The examination by a dentist is also imperative, as you will need to be checked for any issues that may need to be addressed before you bleach (such as gum disease). Since whitening products only change the color of natural tooth structure, fillings and/or crowns (caps), will not change color, so we would discuss options at that visit as well.
"Should I do in-office or take-home whitening?" 1,2
This kind of reminds us of when we order food at a sub shop and the server asks...."is that for here or to go?" If you have it here, you'll eat now. Take it home and you'll eat later. In-office bleaching is done in one, 90-minute session. Don't have that much time? Can't sit that long? No problem! 15 minutes in-office is all that is needed to scan your teeth for trays to take home. Bleaching at home is easy...it takes (on average) 7 treatments but you will get the same results in the end. No matter what kind of method you use, touch-ups will always be necessary every so often. With both methods, you will get custom trays made from digital scans we take of your teeth – no goopy impressions needed! If you bleach in-office, the trays are made for you to touch-up later. If you choose the take-home method, those trays will be used for your initial bleaching and then for the touch-ups as well.
Whitening for life 1,2
We offer Whitening for Life with in-office and take-home bleaching. This means that as long as you visit us for your regular cleaning visits, at those visits we will give you the bleaching material you will need for touch-ups at no cost to you. If you have any questions, please contact us at (781) 942-2020.
1 Our office uses Opalescence products. Visit opalescence.com for more information.
2 You must be a patient of record to receive bleaching services.