One might think of teeth whitening only at a dental office. However, after your braces come off and you have straight teeth and a great smile, you will also want your teeth as white as they can be. Likewise, if you are using Invisalign, you may want to get your teeth whitened during treatment and after.
You have just had your braces removed.
When your braces come off, you expect a beautiful white smile. However, the teeth are often not bright and sparkling immediately after the brackets and wires come off. Teeth can become yellow while you are wearing braces. Plaque builds up behind the brackets and wires. The plaque turns into tartar which can have a yellowish or brown color. For this reason, we recommend getting your teeth whitened after your braces come off.
One advantage with Invisalign is that you don’t have brackets and wires that can trap food particles leading to plaque or tartar buildup. However, this doesn’t mean that Invisalign patients do not get tartar buildup on their teeth. Generally, anyone’s teeth can become discolored. Suppose an Invisalign patient is concerned about the color of their teeth. In that case, they can opt to get teeth whitening during their treatment. But just the same as those who wear braces, as their teeth move, it may expose areas of yellow on their teeth. For this reason, they may need to repeat the teeth whitening procedure upon completing their Invisalign treatment.
Teeth Whitening Options
Teeth whitening is a simple process where bleach and an active ingredient break stains into smaller pieces to help the color be less concentrated and your teeth brighter. Note that any restoration (i.e., crown, veneer, fillings, and bridges) will not whiten. There are two options we officer at McDonough Orthodontics.
- Teeth Whitening Using Biolase Laser Treatment.
We perform the whitening treatment in our office. The total time it takes is about 45 minutes which includes setup and treatment. It is a simple procedure of placing the bleaching gel on the teeth and then using the laser wand to whiten them. Laser treatment is a great way to get brighter, whiter teeth fast. Additionally, patients experience no sensitivity from the treatment.
- Teeth Whitening Take-Home Kits
We also provide take-home teeth whitening kits. Options include:
- Go pre-filled trays that are a ready-made kit. The trays contain Hydrogen Peroxide, which whitens quicker, but the results don’t last as long.
- The patient uses syringes with custom-made retainers. They contain Carbamide Peroxide, which takes longer to whiten, but the results last longer. As many orthodontic patients already have retainers after their braces come off, this is usually preferred.
While take-home kits resemble the over-the-counter whitening kits, they typically contain a more concentrated level of bleach. The Whitening chart below shows the whitening protocols. In other words, how long the whitening procedure takes, how often you need to repeat treatment, and the shelf life of the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
How white will my teeth get?
Everyone responds differently to whitening treatments. Teeth that have yellow or brown hues are easier to whiten than teeth with gray or blue shades. Younger patients typically whiten more quickly. Keep in mind that your smile looks most natural when the color of your teeth matches the whites of your eyes.
How long will it last?
Teeth whitening results are very stable; leaving you with a stunning smile long after the treatment is over. However, there are a few factors that can make teeth lose their luster. For example, food and drink, tobacco use, age, trauma, and medications are factors that can discolor teeth. Fortunately, touch-up treatments are quick and easy.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity during and after whitening when using the trays. If sensitivity occurs, kinds of toothpaste for sensitivity can help. Health.com suggests 5 kinds of toothpaste that can help. Users should be cautious when bleaching to avoid the bleach’s contact with the tissues in the mouth, i.e., cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums. If bleach contacts these tissues, discoloration, and irritation can happen.
Yellow teeth can be embarrassing. They can cause a person to be self-conscious when they smile. On the other hand, a great smile and white teeth can boost your confidence and self-esteem. We can give you a new smile with orthodontic treatment and a white smile with teeth whitening products. With a new and improved smile, you are more likely to have more confidence in your appearance and yourself. To find out more about our teeth whitening, contact us now.
Dr. David McDonough