A smile split in half with one side showing before teeth whitening and the other side showing after

As the holidays approach, we hear a common question from our patients, “How can I get a whiter and brighter smile?” Because of course, what’s a great holiday family photo without pearly whites?

Dental whitening products are everywhere. From toothpaste to whitening strips, pens, trays, and more. How do you choose the right product, and what results can you expect? Will there be side effects, and is it safe?

As your preferred dentist in Waldorf, MD, we have put together a quick blog to discuss different teeth whitening services and tidbits no one tells you.

Is teeth whitening safe?

In short? Yes. But it’s best to check with your dental provider first.

The Opens new tab to American Dental Association website American Dental Association recommends, “you should only do so after consultation with your dentist. This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination, performed by a licensed dentist, is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.”

Address this before you whiten your teeth

Before whitening your teeth, it’s essential to understand the source of the discoloration.

The most common culprits are smoking, tea, coffee, and red wine. However, there could be an underlying factor, such as decay or root exposure. These problems should be addressed before whitening to avoid sensitivity and achieve the best possible results.

Things to prepare for with teeth whitening

While most people whiten their teeth without complications, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold liquids after using a whitening product is not uncommon. Gingival (gum) irritation may also be seen with over-the-counter whitening trays as they are “one size fits all.”

Some patients are more susceptible to these types of sensitivities, depending on their dental and medical histories. It’s important to discuss these factors with your dentist before whitening.

Tooth whitening is a process, and typically you will not see drastic results within one use of a product. However, consistency and patience will deliver results!

Take a before picture of your smile to track your results and try sipping your morning coffee through a straw to avoid future staining.

Do you have crowns or fillings on your front teeth?

This is where whitening can get tricky! Your dentist will want to make sure your restorations match the shade of your natural teeth, so talk to your dentist about the best options for achieving a whiter smile before whitening.

Teeth whitening services

Take-home trays

Custom-fitted trays are the most commonly recommended option. When trays are made to fit your unique smile, the whitening solution can contour to your teeth, giving you the brightest results possible.

Also, trays are designed to protect your gums from irritation, making your whitening experience both effective and pleasant.

Our cosmetic dentists offer this type of teeth whitening in Waldorf, MD. Click here to learn more, including our Free Teeth Whitening for Life Program.

In-office bleaching

Some dental offices offer an in-office whitening treatment that provides expedited results. However, tooth sensitivity tends to be more prevalent when using an in-office bleaching system and may not be the best option for everyone.

Over-the-counter whitening

Whitening strips tend to be the most effective over-the-counter method of whitening. However, a strip can only be customized and contoured to a certain extent, making whitening between the teeth difficult and sensitivity more prevalent.

Whitening toothpaste can be a great alternative, but it is best to discuss with your dentist first.

Ready for Pearly Whites?

Teeth whitening is a great, safe, and effective solution for a brighter smile. Here at The Silberman Dental Group, we like to remind patients that white teeth do not equal healthy or clean teeth.

We encourage you to have a professional cleaning and examination before whitening. During an examination, we will evaluate you for dental cavities, check the health of your gum and bone tissue, and perform an oral cancer screening. The result of this examination will determine whether or not teeth whitening is the best choice for you.

Dr. Paul Silberman and Dr. Daniel Barakh are excited to work with you and help you achieve your best healthy, white, and bright smile! Schedule an appointment today to discuss the best teeth whitening method for your unique smile.

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Our dental office provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to Waldorf, MD, and surrounding communities, including Charlotte Hall, White Plains, La Plata, Brandywine, Accokeek, and Mechanicsville.