Nothing boosts your self-confidence like a brighter, whiter smile. And while supermarket shelves and online pharmacies offer a variety of over-the-counter options, the fact is, these products only work superficially. Store-bought strips and gels can eliminate surface stains on your teeth, but the underlying stains that are embedded in the enamel and dentin of your teeth? They will go untouched.
For effective, long-lasting results, it’s best to have your teeth whitened professionally.
Tooth Whitening Options
Today’s professional whitening techniques can remove the stubborn stains on your teeth caused by coffee, tea, soda, and even smoking tobacco. The applications are painless and, depending on which method you choose, can leave you with the sparkling smile you’ve dreamed of in as little as one treatment.
Dr. Farber offers two unique options for effective tooth whitening—one of which is performed in her office and the other, at home, with her guidance throughout the process. On this page, we will mainly focus on the take-home option, but first, let’s compare the two.
- Boost (In-Office): Offering dramatic results after just two or three 20-minute treatments, Boost is perfect for patients who want instant results or those who have an important event coming up, like a wedding. A full treatment can be done in one sitting and involves the application of a safe and powerful gel made of hydrogen peroxide, fluoride, and potassium nitrate. You can read about Boost here, and learn why Dr. Farber prefers it to other in-office methods.
- Opalescence (Take-Home): If you would rather whiten your smile professionally at home, Dr. Farber can provide you with an Opalescence take-home whitening kit. How does it work? After an examination and cleaning, Dr. Farber will take impressions of your teeth and make a set of snug-fitting trays for you to wear at your convenience. You will take the trays home, along with a bleaching gel, to use until your teeth are the whiteness you desire.
How To Start the Take-Home Whitening Process
If you’re ready to begin the process of brightening your smile at home, simply let Dr. Farber know at your next appointment. Or, if you’re new to her practice, you can schedule an appointment online and mention take-home teeth whitening. Either way, Dr. Farber will want to examine your teeth to see if you have any issues that would cause irritation while you’re wearing the trays, such as leaky fillings or open cavities.
One thing to note—there are some stains that will not respond to any kind of whitening treatment. The most resistant stains we see are on the teeth of adults who were given the antibiotic tetracycline as a child. If you have this type of stain, porcelain veneers are a great solution. When placed by an expert cosmetic dentist, porcelain veneers can beautifully cover the brown and gray discoloration caused by tetracycline, and give you a smile you’ll love to show off.
Is Teeth Whitening Permanent?
In a sense—yes. But as time goes on and you continue drinking coffee, sodas, or highly pigmented fruit juices, your teeth will gradually pick up stains. Still, your smile will be whiter than it would have been had you never had your teeth whitened, but you may want to have a “touch-up” treatment every year or two to maintain their maximum whiteness. This applies to both types of whitening, take-home and in-office.
Before starting any whitening procedure, there are many factors that need consideration. If you’re interested in finding out which whitening method is best for you, please call our office or simply schedule an appointment with our online form.