Teeth Whitening: Worth It or Waste of Time?

Jul 19, 2016
Teeth Whitening: Worth It or Waste of Time?
Having a beaming bright-white smile is something many people strive for. However, despite regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, your teeth may still develop stains and yellowing over time...

Find Out What Teeth Whitening Is and Its Role in Dental Health

Having a beaming bright-white smile is something many people strive for. However, despite regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits, your teeth may still develop stains and yellowing over time. This is due to exposure to certain foods, drinks, medications, or smoke that may cause your smile to loose its shine.

What Is Tooth Whitening?

Tooth whitening is a dental procedure that can lighten or eliminate stain on the teeth to help patients achieve a whiter, more evenly colored smile. Teeth whitening treatments are among one of the most popular dental procedures today. According to a survey performed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, nearly 100% of American adults believe that an attractive smile can make you more appealing to members of the opposite sex. In addition, having a whiter smile can boost confidence and may even help you achieve better job success!


Stains Explained

Many patients often wonder why, even with a strict oral health care regimen, do stains and discoloration develop on their teeth. There are a number of reasons why you may start to see stains appearing in your mouth. Every day, a thin coating will develop on the tooth. If you use tobacco or drink lots of dark liquids like coffee, tea, or red wine, these will attach to this coating. Eating dark-colored foods or sauces can also stick to this coating, which may cause stains to appear on your teeth. As we age, the enamel on your teeth thins away, which can also affect the coloration of your smile.

What Types of Tooth Whitening Treatments Are Available

Surface stains on tooth enamel can be treated with a number of whitening treatments. The most effective are in-house dental treatments administered by a certified dental professional, like Dr. Beaufils of Beaufils Dental.

In-Office Professional Whitening

Our patients can receive whitening treatments right here in our Cooper City dental office. In-office treatments are always the safest and most effective option for teeth brightening. Since dental offices typically provide stronger bleaching solutions than take-home or over-the-counter options, having your teeth whitened in-office will produce more dramatic results. The procedure typically takes around 30 to 90 minutes and you may need up to 3 treatments to achieve your desired results.

During the procedure, a protective substance is applied to the gums to protect them from the whitening solution. Then Dr. Beaufils will apply the whitening gel and shine a UV lamp onto the teeth to activate the whitening solution. The cost of an in-office tooth whitening treatment will vary depending on the patient’s unique requirements, but can typically cost around $400 – $1000. Some insurance companies may cover the procedure, so to talk to your provider and your dental office to see if you are covered.

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At-Home Professional Whitening

Instead of – or in some cases, in addition to – at-home professional whitening treatments, patients can opt for an at-home procedure. During your visit to your dentist, he or she will make impressions of your top and bottom teeth and have custom mouthpieces made for you. A close-fitting tray is an essential part of a successful whitening procedure. Once your unique trays are ready, your dentist will provide you with a peroxide-based solution to apply to your tray once a day. These procedures can cost around $150 to $600, depending on your particular needs.

Over the Counter Solutions

There are a number of OTC whitening products that you can purchase and administer at home. These are typically not as strong as products that you receive at your dental office, but they can be effective when applied correctly.

  • Tooth whitening strips and gels. These are some of the most popular OTC whitening products, and typically include a peroxide-based bleaching solution that must be applied to your teeth using a strip, a brush, or a generic-sized tray. You will need to repeat the process once or twice a day for about two weeks in order to see results. These products will range in price depending on the style and brand, but can often run around $15 to $50 dollars.
  • Whitening toothpaste and rinses. You’ve probably seen the ads for toothpaste and mouthwashes that boast teeth whitening abilities. Toothpaste is usually mildly abrasive, which helps prevent and eliminate minor stains, but whitening toothpaste and rinses specifically contain chemicals or polishing agents that help to polish away more tough stains. These products are relatively inexpensive and can be incorporated into your daily regimen to help keep those pearly whites in prime condition.
  • Gums and mouth chews. You can also find whitening gums and chews that can help rid your teeth of stains after eating or drinking dark-colored foods or liquids.

Give Yourself a Reason to Smile!

Regardless of the whitening method you choose, you should always talk to your dentist before proceeding. Remember, your dentist is familiar with your mouth’s particular needs, and they can help you navigate towards a cosmetic dentistry solution that is ideal for you.

The benefits of teeth whitening are incredible! Instead of covering your mouth when laughing or never showing teeth when you smile, be proud and flaunt your radiant new look! Patients in Cooper City can enjoy luminous teeth whitening results from Beaufils Dental. To schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable team of professionals, contact our office at (954) 252-1390.