If you want to make a relatively quick and inexpensive yet dramatic change to your appearance, now is the time to talk to us about teeth whitening. We offer both an in-office whitening treatment, using BriteSmile, or an at-home system that has been very popular.
At any appointment, just tell us you would like to start the teeth whitening process, and we will take impressions to produce custom made mouthguards or “splints” for you. We also provide a special whitening agent that will remove most embedded stains.
It is important to note that some stains do not respond to any kind of teeth whitening procedures. For example, if you were given the antibiotic tetracycline as a child, your teeth might have grayish striations that will actually look worse if you try to bleach them. If you have this type of stain, you could waste a lot of time and money trying different kinds of over-the-counter products.
When you use one of our at-home systems, we can guide you from the offset, first making sure that your stains will respond to teeth whitening procedures, and then assisting you during treatment if you should experience any problems or sensitivities.
Dr. Currie and his staff typically use one of two systems: NiteWhite® or Opalescence®. Both come with varying strengths of whitening gels, and each has unique strengths. Dr. Currie will prescribe whichever system will work best for your individual situation.
Teeth Whitening Procedure–Overview
- When you decide to start the teeth whitening process, we will first make sure that you don’t have any leaky fillings or other issues that would cause irritation when you are wearing the splints. Though this exam does not have to include a cleaning, we do recommend one, to make sure all the tartar is removed from your teeth.
- Choose a time each day when you will wear the splints. Depending on the brand of whitening gel, you will have to wear the splints for 3-4 hours per day. Make sure you brush and floss thoroughly before you put in the splints.
- Place the whitening gel in the splints and put them in place. Experience will teach you the best amount of gel to place inside the splints. You should only taste a small amount of gel as you put them in place. If you feel or taste a lot of the gel after you put the splints in place, spit out any excess and adjust the amount of gel you put in the splints the next time you wear them.
- About 20% of our at-home patients experience irritation to the gums during this process. If we notice signs of irritation at your follow-up visit, or if you bring it to our attention, we will adjust the splints or provide another method to alleviate the irritation. If you have questions, problems or concerns at any point in your treatment, please never hesitate to contact our office.
- We will provide you with the optimal amount of time to wear the splints each day, based on your individual situation and the type of gel we prescribe. Though the mouthguards may be quite comfortable, do not wear them more than 16 hours a day or your teeth might begin to shift. You should also never wear them while eating.