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Teeth Whitening

Before and after photo of teeth whitening treatmentToday, people are more concerned than ever before with how they look. This is why you see them wearing makeup, using anti-wrinkle creams, and at Riverstone Family Dentistry we also see many patients seeking teeth whitening - a process that's mainly done for aesthetic purposes.

What Teeth Whitening Is

When you whiten your teeth, you either restore them to their natural shade, or you make them look even better than they did initially. You can also restore the underlying shade of your natural tooth simply by removing stains that are caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., coffee, tea, wine, tobacco) from their surface. The amount of time that this entire process requires will vary depending on how discolored your teeth are. Typically we can whiten your teeth for you in 30-90 minutes per visit. Depending on the severity of your stains, you may need as many as three appointments.

Why you may Wish to Consider Teeth Whitening

There are many reasons why you may want to consider having your teeth whitened. Most of these reasons are cosmetic in nature like discoloration and special occasions (e.g., job interviews) where you want to have white teeth even though you've made some poor diet choices in the past. However, as you grow older (especially if you're a smoker) you'll have a health reason for tooth whitening. This is because your tooth enamel wears down and can result in oral health problems.

Seeing Your Dentist for Teeth Whitening

When you come to our office to have your teeth whitened, we will start by placing a rubber shield or some gel on your gums to keep them safe. Afterward we'll apply some whitening product to your teeth. This is done with a specially made "mouthguard." (We can also make these mouthguards for you to use when whitening your teeth at home.) This procedure isn't meant to make your teeth whiter nor will it work for you if you have crowns or veneers made from ceramic or porcelain. Nevertheless, if you're seeking long-lasting results and you're concerned about safety, you should visit our office to make sure that things are done correctly.

The Best Way to Whiten Your Teeth

Whitening your teeth is safe, but it could make your teeth feel more sensitive especially immediately afterwards. If you have any tooth decay or some form of receding gums, you're more likely to experience this sensitivity than someone who has a healthy smile. This sensitivity is something that's typically felt on one of your initial treatments, but that will diminish afterwards. Otherwise, this procedure is safe, even though it's essentially the same as bleaching your teeth. Considering this, you may wish to try some tooth whitening toothpaste first. Doing so should remove any surface stains without using any bleach.

These contain either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide that will help lighten the color that's deep inside of your teeth. If this doesn't produce the desired result, call Riverstone Family Dentistry at (360) 326-1443. We have many years of success in helping people whiten their teeth. You should be next.
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