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Facts About Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a process that everyone should consider doing. It enhances your appearance, boosts your self-confidence, and inspires you to take better care of your teeth. With your new and improved smile, you can enhance your performance at work, experience a more vibrant social life, and attain a better quality of life overall.

There are several misconceptions around tooth whitening that need to be put to rest so that you can make your dentist appointment with confidence. Here are some facts about tooth whitening that can help to set the record straight:

1. Your teeth are like sponges; they absorb material.
Like your skin, your teeth also have pores. Anything that you put into your mouth that has a dark color will tend to stain teeth. Coffee, wine, dark berries, and soda will take years of white off of your smile. It is possible to indulge in a bit of darkness while still enjoying a bright and white smile. Tooth whitening will remove staining caused by some of your favorite foods and uncover a vibrant smile once more.

2. Tooth whitening does not damage your teeth.
A popular misconception of tooth whitening is that it can damage your teeth. When used as directed, tooth whitening products are completely safe. Whitening agents open pores in your teeth and allow stains to be lifted right off of them. After whitening sessions, your teeth naturally remineralize and rehydrate, leaving you stronger and healthier than ever before.

3. The key to whitening is in the delivery.
Most tooth whitening agents use the same activators to lift stains from teeth. The holding or application device is what is key for an effective whitening session. With a custom-fitted whitening tray, the whitening agent touches every surface of the tooth, ensuring maximum effectiveness. Paints and strips may remain on the teeth for a short time, but they will not deliver the powerful punch that total coverage allows.

4. A little bit of sensitivity is normal.
An estimated 60 percent of Americans already experience tooth sensitivity due to worn enamel, cracked teeth, or genetic weaknesses. A little bit of sensitivity after whitening is normal, due to the fact that teeth are temporarily dehydrated and nerve sensitivity is heightened. Within 12-36 hours, teeth should return to normal, leaving you with a whiter smile. If sensitivity persists, talk to your dentist for ideas on how to make your mouth and teeth more comfortable.

5. Stains on your teeth cannot be removed overnight.
Regardless of claims, there is no whitening product that can remove stains on teeth overnight or in one session. A typical whitening process takes anywhere from a week to a month. You must be patient with the process and know that consistent use will give you the best results.

6. Caps, veneers, and other non-organic dental work cannot be whitened. 
Caps and veneers, when installed, are created to match the look of your existing teeth. These materials can never be stained, but they can never be whitened either. Keep this in mind if you have dental work that is done in a visible area of your mouth, as there will be differences in your dental work and your real teeth should you choose to whiten.

7. The best time to whiten is right before bed.
After whitening procedures, your teeth have an increased susceptibility to staining. The pores on your teeth are more open, and stains can easily adhere to enamel. Whitening before bed can significantly reduce the possibility of staining and give your teeth the chance to rehydrate and remineralize.

8. Total whitening may not be possible for everyone.
The natural shade of your teeth is a genetic factor; the color of your teeth are set before you are even born. The only thing a whitening tool can do is take existing stains off of your teeth. Being aware of this factor before you attempt to whiten will prevent disappointment and set your expectations for your own whitest and brightest smile.

9. Children should wait to have their teeth whitened.
Children can have stained or discolored teeth due to their dietary choices. Whitening prematurely can have an impact on their overall dental health as they mature, so delaying the process as long as possible will ensure better oral health. If you have concerns about your child’s teeth, discuss it with a pediatric dentist who can offer you some natural solutions for lifting stains off teeth.

10. Professional tooth whitening is affordable.
Regardless of what you may have heard, tooth whitening is safe, effective, and affordable. It is not only more efficient, but it is also supervised by qualified dental care professionals, so your results are consistently better than home whitening treatments.

At Sunrise Dental, our qualified dental professionals are the best in the business; we will improve the look, feel, and function of your teeth. Comprehensive treatment plans and a chance to collaborate with your dental care professionals ensure that you will be sporting your healthiest, most beautiful mouth. Give us a call today to get started on the path to a beautiful and vibrant smile!