December 1, 2014 As we enter the holiday season, filled with parties, work events and family engagements, a whiter smile is at the top of many Americans’ wish lists. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than 99 percent of adults believe a smile is an important social asset. Seventy-four percent of adults think an unattractive smile can impede a person’s career success. The most common smile improvement respondents noted was whiter and brighter teeth. What is the best teeth whitening method ? With an exponentially growing industry and no FDA regulation for over-the-counter teeth whitening products, how do you know the teeth whitening option you choose is safe? When you choose professional teeth whitening with Caffaratti Dental Group, you can rest easy knowing that your tooth enamel is protected from damage and there is a much lower likelihood of sensitivity. Even though stronger agents are applied, the rest of your mouth, including your gums, are protected from those materials. Professional teeth whitening is also long lasting, with results lasting one or more years. Before beginning any teeth whitening procedure, it’s important to have had your teeth professionally cleaned in the past six months. White teeth in just one hour Your time is valuable, especially during the busy holiday season. In-office teeth whitening is an ideal choice for patients seeking immediate results. The entire process takes about one hour and you’ll leave with teeth at least six to 10 shades whiter. In this process, a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A light-activated gel is applied to your teeth, and a special light enhances the agent, gently penetrating the teeth to remove stains and discoloration. This results in whiter and brighter teeth without damage to your enamel. We also take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays for at-home touchups. We’ll give you detailed instructions for keeping your smile bright for years to come. Professional at-home whitening With the help of your dentist, it’s possible to achieve professional results at home. Professional tray whitening is a less expensive option and the very best teeth whitening option for your at-home use. At your first appointment, we’ll take an impression of your mouth to create custom whitening trays for you. Your trays will be ready within a few days, and when you pick them up, we’ll show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays and discuss your personal teeth whitening plan. Typically, patients will wear the whitening trays 30 to 60 minutes, up to twice a day. You’ll achieve maximum results at the end of your at-home treatment period, with typical results being at least 10 shades whiter. You’ll also have the flexibility to occasionally touch up your smile at home. Over-the-counter whitening methods If you’re set on using an over-the-counter teeth whitening method, consult your dentist to ensure the product you choose is safe for you to use. The two most common issues that arise are soft tissue irritation and hypersensitive teeth. Ill-fitted whitening trays from over-the-counter products and whitening agents in direct contact with the gums are usually what cause irritation. Tooth sensitivity is most pronounced when there is a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the product you choose, or when the pH of the whitening agent is very acidic. These side effects are typically mild and resolved within a few days. But, the benefit of professional teeth whitening is that we can closely monitor and often avoid these side effects completely. You may not think about consulting your dentist about whitening agents like toothpaste, but with all the choices available to you, it’s a good idea. Many whitening toothpastes actually contain harsh abrasive agents, not teeth whitening agents. Some of these toothpastes can actually be harmful to your enamel by causing unnecessary wear and increasing sensitivity. Is there any reason I shouldn’t whiten my teeth? We advise patients with gum disease, broken or damaged teeth, exposed roots, incomplete dental work or hypersensitivity to allow us to treat those conditions before we begin any teeth whitening procedure. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid whitening procedures. We also recommend that teens avoid teeth whitening until at least age 14, when the tooth’s pulp is fully formed and teens should experience less sensitivity. We can discuss whitening options for your teen that won’t aggravate sensitive teeth and gums or damage dental work. Whitening is also not a good idea for those undergoing orthodontic treatment, but can be considered when treatment is complete. Let us make your holidays merry and BRIGHT! Give Caffaratti Dental Group a call today to schedule your professional teeth whitening procedure or with any questions about whitening in general. Cheers to your whiter, brighter smile!