Professional Teeth Whitening

From Braces to Brightness: Taking Your Smile to the Next Level with Professional Teeth Whitening

If you have been wearing your braces for some time, you probably can’t wait to get them off and show off that brand-new smile. With the metal gone and your teeth straighter, your confidence level will rise, and you’ll have a little more pep in your step. With your “new smile, who ‘dis” attitude, you’ll no doubt be flashing those pearly whites everywhere you go.

Well, sort of.

Let’s face it: after spending all that time with your braces on, your teeth may be straighter but will likely leave a little to be desired in terms of brightness. However, with professional cleaning and whitening services, you can restore your teeth to a brighter white than ever before. Your new smile will help you brighten the room even more than you already had.

With straighter, whiter teeth, you will leave friends, family, and even the admirers you never knew you had wondering what your secret is. The best part is that you’ll know you can smile with confidence – because there is no secret! All you needed was the right oral care from the right orthodontist.

When it’s time to remove your braces, don’t let your professional orthodontic care stop at straightening your teeth. Get the professional teeth whitening services you deserve.

In-House Teeth Whitening

Although there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening options available at your local drug store or big box retailer, nothing compares to the results you will gain from professional teeth whitening. The professional process uses a more powerful, more efficient gel that combines hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Together, these two ingredients create a whitening agent that works to remove yellow stains from teeth.

As part of professional whitening treatment, UV light activates the hydrogen peroxide’s bleaching properties. When this process occurs, the enamel on the teeth can be penetrated more deeply. This is an essential part of how the process works to fight the stains deep within the teeth.

While the products readily available in stores work similarly to this process, the results just can’t compare. In fact, even though many may opt for the OTC option because of the ease of use, it often takes much longer to get even close to the results a professional treatment yields.

How Does In-House Professional Whitening Work?

Professional Whitening Process

The process of whitening teeth in your orthodontist’s office involves five stages.

Stage 1: Assessment

In the first stage of the whitening process, your teeth will be evaluated by an orthodontist who will get to know the state of your teeth very well. This evaluation is one of the key components of professional whitening that sets it apart from the kits purchased at the drugstore. During this stage, your dental care professional and their team will offer advice on the best whitening method to use.

Your dental professional will help you understand the process as a whole as it relates to your specific teeth and which stains may remain. It’s important to know at this stage that while teeth whitening will certainly improve the appearance of your teeth, it is not a miracle whitening process that will remove every stain.

During this stage, any discoloration will also be identified by its cause. This is important because if your teeth discoloration is the result of injury, medication, or other medical influences, then professional teeth whitening may not help repair those discolorations.

Stage 2: Color Care

In this stage, the color of your teeth will be evaluated to determine the baseline of your natural shade. Even the brightest natural teeth are not stark white but rather a varied blend of many near-white shades, plus areas of discoloration. Before and after your professional teeth cleaning services, some discoloration may still exist as your natural tooth color will impact the coloration outcome.

During this stage, you can let your dental professional know what shade you are trying to achieve so they can work toward your goals. Your dental professional will also advise you regarding the best possible outcome for your smile.

Stage 3: Removing Plaque

We all know that brushing every morning and every night can help remove plaque, but at-home methods may not remove all the plaque buildup that happens on your teeth. Fortunately, the pesky film that forms between brushings is most vulnerable to the professional cleaning services that take place prior to whitening. With professional cleaning, your teeth get the treatment they deserve and they can experience every bit of the whitening agents used.

Stage 4: Drying

For teeth whitening to be effective, your teeth should be dry. Think of it like putting a dry rub on your favorite food before cooking it; for the seasoning to impart the greatest flavor, it must be applied to a dry surface unencumbered by other variables. The whitening process needs the same approach to be most effective. Dental professionals have many tools at their disposal to help this process.

Stage 5: Whitening

Now that your teeth have been evaluated, color-swatched, cleaned, dried, and repaired, it’s time for the application of the gel. This is the actual whitening treatment you have been waiting for. The treatment will take approximately an hour to an hour and a half. In general, this process can whiten teeth up to eight shades from the baseline established in stage 2.

With each stage, your dental professional is helping to individualize the process for the needs of your teeth.

Take-Home Whitening Kits

Some patients may still prefer to complete the whitening process at home, which is understandable since at-home kits can be more convenient and comfortable for many. That’s why the OTC versions are so popular! Fortunately, unlike the kits you can buy at the store, you’ll still be working with your dental professional to create a customized kit for you that can help you achieve the ideal professional whitening look. In some cases, this can be a less expensive alternative to in-office treatments.

While the at-home kits you buy at the store will contain flimsy strips with OTC-strength treatments, the ones you can obtain from your dental professional will require you to create an impression of your teeth. These are then used to create custom-fitted trays that not only allow a comfortable experience but also ensure that the treatment meets the needs of your teeth on every available surface.

Once the impression is taken, the trays are molded over the course of one to two weeks. You then take the trays and the treatment home. The process at home requires one hour a day for two weeks.

Keep in mind that while at-home trays from your dentist may be less expensive than in-office treatments, they will still cost more than what you will find in the stores. But, as the saying goes, you will get what you pay for. Before you make a decision, also check with your insurance provider to see what options may be available and best for you.

Maintaining Your New Smile

If you’ve decided on professional whitening services, here’s what to know about maintaining your new smile.

Watch Out for Sensitive Teeth

Regardless of which method you use for your professional teeth whitening, it is important to properly maintain your newly treated teeth. While the process impacts color, one of the most important side effects to be aware of is that your teeth may become more sensitive. However, this usually lasts only a few days, and the symptoms can be helped by using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Prevent Future Staining

It is also important to understand that this process removes the teeth staining that already exists, but it will not prevent future staining from occurring. After treatment, there are steps you can take to not only maintain the treatment you received but also provide much-needed prevention. In the first few days after your treatment, be cognizant of the foods and drinks you consume. During this time, your teeth will be more vulnerable to new stains. Foods and drinks that are high in acid or contain bright dyes and natural colors could wipe out the impacts of your treatment.

After a few days have passed, you can resume your normal eating and drinking habits. In order to maximize your treatment, however, you should pay attention to the types of foods and drinks you consume moving forward since certain ones may re-stain your teeth over time. Beverages such as coffee, wine, and sodas are notorious for causing stains. Additionally, foods such as tomato sauce, fruits like blueberries, and balsamic vinegar may also cause your teeth to pick up color. For many people, being mindful about consuming dark liquids through a straw has minimized the impacts of teeth staining because it doesn’t put the liquid in direct contact with the teeth.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is also important. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. This will remove foods and liquids that cause staining and prolong your whitening treatment. This effort, combined with regular flossing and checkups, is a must for those who invest in professional teeth whitening.

Return for Touch-Up Treatments

Your dental provider may also offer touch-up treatments. Regular checkups can provide a timeline for how often you should get them based on your eating, drinking, and hygiene habits.

Teeth Whitening and Retainers: A Crucial Pairing

Teeth Whitening and Retainers

Once those braces come off, whitening won’t be the only maintenance you will want to provide your teeth to keep your new smile looking fresh. The use of a retainer is an essential way to keep your teeth from shifting back into their old position and negating all the hard work. In fact, a retainer is more than just a way to hold your teeth in place: retainers provide the following benefits:

Prevents Shifting Teeth

As mentioned, retainers are designed to help keep the structure of your teeth in place, particularly when used in the first month after the removal of braces. The aging process can cause teeth to shift and cause them to revert to an old position. With retainer usage, you can keep your teeth looking straight and in place.

Good for Oral Hygiene

When teeth are straightened by braces, the process does more than just create a straighter smile; it also moves the teeth into a position that allows for better care. When the teeth are aligned, brushing, flossing, and other hygiene routines are more effective. By keeping the teeth in a straighter position, you can prevent other dental issues such as cavities, infections, and other chronic issues.

Breathing and Speaking Become Easier

When your teeth are in their correct position, your mouth is also able to function more efficiently. The position of your teeth has a large impact on your ability to breathe and speak. Straight teeth provide your mouth with better posture and breathe more easily.

Prevents Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is the terminology applied to those individuals whose tongue presses forward when they swallow, speak, and sometimes when it is at rest. Over time, your tongue may influence the position of your teeth by pushing them forward. A retainer can help protect the corrections caused by braces for this condition.

Prevents Clenching

Whether from stress, anxiety, or any other reason, clenching the jaw is quite common. Unfortunately, it can also have a significant impact on your teeth, particularly after the removal of braces and you adjust to the new you. Retainers can prevent clenching and protect your smile.

Combining the use of a retainer with professional teeth whitening can not only refresh the look of your new smile but help keep everything in place.

Enhancing Your Smile

Enhancing your smile with Robison Orthodontics

The minute those braces come off, you’ll experience a feeling of freedom. Months of tightening, careful cleaning, and watching what you eat finally come to an end after helping your teeth find the right spot to maximize the health of your mouth. With your teeth finally free, professional teeth whitening can complement your new smile.

From professional office services to customized at-home kits, professional teeth whitening can be an effective way to bring your smile eight shades brighter than it was before.

At Robison Orthodontics, we believe in the benefits of combining professional teeth whitening services with your orthodontic treatments. We don’t just want to enhance your smile; we want to give you the comfort, confidence, and cleanliness you’re looking for when it comes to the health of your mouth. Contact us today to learn more.