Having a bright, white smile is possible! You can visit your dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment or purchase an over-the-counter teeth whitening product to apply yourself.
Can you please describe the teeth whitening services you offer in your office and what the benefits of each are?
Dr. John Vitale: Well, we offer two kinds of brightening in our office. The first kind we use is a machine called a Zoom, and it’s an in-house whitening system. With that, the patient sits in a chair for approximately an hour and a half to two hours. We apply materials to the teeth, and hit it with a special kind of light that whitens your teeth.
The second course of treatment that we offer are trays that we manufacture or fabricate in the office, along with whitening material that we send the patients home with. The benefits of the in-house whitening, with Zoom, the major benefit is that it lasts longer than then the trays. When you apply Zoom with a patient, it probably will last approximately 14 months to 16 months. Where, with the trays you have to bleach up periodically.
What is the best teeth whitening option for someone who does not want to go to the dentist?
Dr. John Vitale: Well, there are over-the-counter items that are pretty good. There are whitening toothpastes. Colgate make one. Crest makes one. There are whitening mouthwashes that are also very acceptable, and there are bleaching systems that are over-the-counter. I’m a little wary of them because you should really know what’s in them. But those are the availability of products outside of the dental office.
Are there any adverse side effects to teeth whitening?
Dr. John Vitale: The major adverse side effect to teeth whitening is sensitivity. In years past with the in-house treatments, people found themselves to be quite sensitive for a couple of days. But, with the advent of the newer materials, sensitivity has been reduced drastically and often enough, just a couple of Advil after a procedure would be sufficient to alleviate the sensitivity.
After someone has a teeth whitening treatment, are there certain foods or beverages they should avoid?
Dr. John Vitale: Well, yes. After whitening we advise people not to eat anything of color for 24 hours. So, no green vegetables, no red wine, stuff like that. Stick to the white foods if you could, because your teeth are susceptible to pick up stains for the first 24 hours.
Is it safe to whiten teeth on a regular basis? If yes, how often can people have treatments?
Dr. John Vitale: It’s relatively safe to whiten your teeth on a regular basis. I don’t recommend it though, because when you come into the dental office and have your teeth whitened with a machine, they come out quite bright and they last a long time so it’s a touch-up maybe, every three or four months is okay, but just that, and no more.
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