Teeth Whitening 101: A Look at Patient Questions

When you turn up the corners of your lips and flash a smile to the people around you, you shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious about stains or discoloration. At our practice, we offer teeth whitening in Sarasota, FL, and we’re more than happy to help you see a more confident smile. Take a look at some of the questions new patients tend to have about teeth whitening procedures.

How old do you need to be for teeth whitening?

The general recommendation is that patients should be 16 and over before having their teeth professionally whitened. Before this point, the teeth may not be fully developed and the whitening procedures can actually cause more harm than good to the developing tooth enamel.

How often should you have your teeth whitened?

The majority of patients can enjoy their whiter teeth for a year or longer, especially with the proper care and when the best whitening procedures are performed. You can have your teeth safely whitened about once every year if needed.

Does teeth whitening cause long-term damage?

Contrary to popular speculation, teeth whitening is perfectly safe for the majority of patients and will not cause long-term damage to the teeth. Some patients may experience heightened tooth sensitivity directly after whitening, but these sensations do subside rather quickly.

How can you keep your teeth whiter after treatment?

With a little added attention to what goes in your mouth and how well you tend to dental hygiene, you can see your whitening results last longer. A few good tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid dark-colored juices and soda as much as possible
  • Avoid smoking or using smokeless tobacco
  • Maintain your usual dental hygiene appointments
  • Be sure to brush and floss at least twice a day

Ready for a More Confident Smile with Teeth Whitening in Sarasota?

When you truly want results with teeth whitening, it is best to trust a Sarasota dentist for help. At the office of Dr. Kenneth Schweitzer, we offer professional-grade home-whitening kits to make sure you see optimal results, as well as Zoom! in-office whitening. If you are ready to see the shade of your teeth change for the better and those stubborn stains disappear, reach out to us to schedule your appointment today.

Will My Veneers Need to be Whitened Over Time?

Dental veneers in Sarasota can be completely transformative. Imagine the day when you walk into the dentist’s office in Sarasota with an embarrassing smile and walk out with a brilliant, perfect smile. It will look and feel amazing, and you won’t want to wait before you flash your perfect smile at the people you meet. But what happens to veneers over time? Do they get stained and dingy-looking like natural teeth?

Do Veneers Stain?

Dental veneers in Sarasota are available in two types; porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are a little bit more pricey than their counterpart. In general, dental veneers don’t stain like natural teeth. Natural teeth are very porous, which is one reason why they are so susceptible to bacteria and cavities. Dental veneers are manufactured to be less porous so that they retain their initial brightness. This is also so that your choice of tint remains true over time.

Care of Dental Veneers

Even the highest quality veneers won’t stay white and stain-free if they aren’t properly cared for. When you get dental veneers in Sarasota, your dentist will send you home with care instructions so that your dental veneers look great for a long time to come. Follow your care instructions and you can expect to enjoy stain-free dental veneers for years.

Never Use Over-the-Counter Whiteners on Veneers

Over-the-counter teeth whiteners are intended for use on natural teeth. They will be ineffective or give unexpected results on dental veneers. For this reason, you should never use over-the-counter teeth whiteners on dental veneers, no matter how tempted you may be. You could inadvertently discolor your dental veneers or otherwise damage them.

What to Do About a Stained Dental Veneer

If one or more of your dental veneers somehow gets permanently stained, you should contact your dentist in Sarasota for help. Your dentist will be able to either whiten the veneer in-office or possibly replace that one veneer. Every situation will be different, so talk to your Sarasota dentist for details.

Dental veneers are made to stay bright and fabulous looking for years. But when you need help with the look of your dental veneers, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

3 Tooth Whitening Mistakes To Avoid

Whether you have just had braces removed or preparing for retirement, you might be thinking about whitening your teeth to improve your look before you enter into the next chapter of your life. Unfortunately, even small mistakes could compromise your results and make your smile uncomfortable. Here are three simple tooth whitening mistakes to avoid making, so that you can enjoy a brighter, more beautiful smile.

Mistake: Using DIY Kits

Toothpaste manufacturers make teeth whitening seem simple enough. After using a new toothpaste for a while or applying a special gel, your teeth can look whiter in a few hours — or will they? Although it might seem simple to use DIY whitening kits, many of these products aren’t approved by the ADA, which can leave you with poor results.

Oftentimes, at-home teeth whitening products contain lower concentrations of carbamide peroxide, which can make whitening take much longer. In fact, research has shown that the majority of “starter level” kits contain about 10% carbamide peroxide while dentists have access to concentrations as high as 40%.

Additionally, at-home whitening tools aren’t always easy or convenient to use since they are designed to fit everyone. For instance, bleaching trays may not fit properly, allowing whitening agents to spill onto surrounding gum tissues. The bleaching process can also be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you use whitening pens or messy strips.

On the other hand, in-office teeth whitening allows patients to lie back and relaxed while trained professionals take care of the rest. In addition to talking with you about what shade you would like your teeth to become, dentists will work hard to protect the surrounding gum tissue and dental work to prevent other problems.

Mistake: Whitening Too Frequently

Unfortunately, even prescribed dental whitening trays can cause problems if you use them too frequently. While it might seem tempting to whiten your teeth day and night, leaving those trays on for too long could cause extreme dental sensitivity and even enamel damage, which is why you should always follow your doctor’s orders closely.

When you whiten your teeth, a chemical reaction occurs in the dental enamel that releases microscopic plugs in the dental enamel. While it is true that this reaction allows bleaching agents to whiten underlying dentin, it can also cause pulpitis if the bleach isn’t removed in a timely manner. If you whiten your teeth too often, dental sensitivity can make it hard to eat and drink.

Over whitening your teeth can have other negative consequences, including making the edges of your teeth slightly translucent. Since the inside of your mouth is dark, this translucency can give your smile a bluish-gray look.

To prevent these kinds of negative side effects, only use products recommended by your Sarasota dentist, and always set a timer when you whiten your teeth. Avoid whitening your teeth at times when you might get distracted, such as when you are tired or involved in other activities.

Mistake: Ignoring Dental Damage Before Whitening

Another big mistake patients make when they are new to teeth whitening is overlooking existing dental damage. Before a dentist whitens your teeth, they will check your smile carefully for damage like missing dental fillings, chipped teeth, or cracks. Since whitening these areas can cause extreme pain, your dentist will talk with you about repairs before tackling cosmetic dental issues.

Before you consider any teeth whitening in Sarasota method, talk with your dentist about whether or not your teeth are healthy enough for bleaching. If you chip a tooth or experience facial trauma, have the issue resolved before using at-home products or prescribed bleaching trays.

If you want a healthy and beautiful smile, book an appointment with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. With a focus on personalized patient care and a commitment to kindness, our entire team can help your family to improve their dental health.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Long gone are the days when a dull, stained or not-so-bright smile was just something you were stuck with. Teeth whitening in Sarasota, FL is an easy cosmetic fix that can transform your smile and brighten your entire face. Whether you choose an in-office procedure or an at-home whitening system, your Sarasota dentists can help you to improve the way your teeth look.

While teeth whitening is not medically necessary, it is important when it comes to first impressions. Forty-eight percent of people think that a person’s most memorable feature (for a first meeting) is a smile, according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Along with making a dazzling first impression in general, why do plenty of dental patients choose to whiten their teeth? Take a look at the most common reasons for picking this procedure. If you’re on the fence and can’t decide whether to whiten or not whiten, learning about these benefits may help you to make a decision.

Eating and Drinking Issues

Foods and beverages with chromogens (strong pigments), tannins (these make it possible for stains to stick) and acids (these erode enamel) can lead to discoloration. If you often eat dark foods, such as blueberries or cranberries, or drink their juices, you may be at risk for stains. The same goes for drinking coffee, tea or red wine.

Even though these and other stain-causing foods and beverages are known destroyers of the bright white smile, you might not want to give them up. That’s completely understandable. Just because your morning coffee or tea is dulling your teeth doesn’t mean you should ditch your favorite drink. Whitening can take those food and beverage stains and make them less noticeable.

However, keep in mind that whiteners won’t always completely remove all stains, and they don’t last forever. But with regular whitening, you can keep your favorite foods and drinks without having to give up your smile.

Self-Confidence Booster

What’s on the inside matters most when it comes to who you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little boost from a cosmetic helper. No one is saying that you should get a major procedure to change your looks. If you’re sensitive about your smile because of stains and discoloration, whitening is a simple way to up your self-esteem.

Knowing that people are looking at you — and not your stained teeth — makes it easier to smile. A bright smile brightens your entire appearance, and not just because your teeth are whiter. The confidence you’ll feel will show on your face too.

Special Events

Aside from food- and drink-related staining and the desire to increase your self-confidence, sometimes teeth whitening can help you out with a less major issue. A wedding, a graduation or even a special date are all reasons why some patients choose to whiten their teeth.

You get your hair done, dress in your best outfit and buy new shoes for your special event. So why stop there? Don’t forget about your teeth too. Think of whitening as fancy dress for your teeth. And it doesn’t hurt that the fabulous effects will stick around for months after the event ends. That means you’ll be ready for your next show-stopping appearance.

Are you looking for a professional-level whitening? Call the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA to learn more about your options. Zoom! Whitening is an in-office procedure that uses an LED light to accelerate the process and give you a brighter smile in less time. If you want an at-home whitener, we’ll create custom-made bleaching trays and provide you with a gel bleach that our dentist prescribes.