The pandemic is slowly coming to an end. San Antonians are getting outside, and it is almost time for summer. There are many reasons to smile these days, but not everybody is comfortable doing so because their pearly whites aren’t as white as they would like for them to be. 

“It is the perfect time of the year to consider teeth bleaching,” said Dr. Tony Thomas, lead dentist at Advanced Smile Care of North San Antonio. Here are 4 tips for you to consider as your weigh whether to whiten your teeth. 

#1 Professional treatment vs. at-home bleaching?

Tooth whitening can be done at your dentist office or in the comfort of your home. “We feel we can provide our patients with whitening that is more precise than if you were to try to whiten your teeth at home,” Dr. Thomas said. “However, we know there are patients who prefer an at-home regiment.  

“Although over-the-counter treatments are less expensive, they elevate your risk to gum irritation or damage because the treatment time is often longer,” said Dr. Thomas. Make sure to discuss all of your options with your dentist before proceeding with any kind of whitening treatment. 

#2 Side effects

Teeth whitening is safe for the health of your teeth. The results of any regiment can be life changing for many, but along the way, there are side effects to consider. Teeth sensitivity and irritated gums are common with any tooth whitening treatment whether it be at home or in the office.  

“If the treatment is done in the office, you may be given a product containing sodium fluoride gel and potassium nitrate to cut down on tooth sensitivity.” Also, any irritation on the gums should go away after your treatments are complete. Keep in mind that whitening may not be right for you if you are currently undergoing any dental work at the time. 

#3 Limiting future discoloration

There are many reasons why teeth become discolored in the first place, and not all teeth are able to become as white as you may want depending on the health of your teeth. Professor Clifton M. Carey of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine writes that tooth discoloration can be categorized into two main groups: intrinsic staining which can come from genetics and age, and extrinsic staining which is caused by external factors such as smoking, food stain, and beverage stain. Extrinsic staining is easier to whiten, but keep in mind that if you go ahead and pursue treatment, you’ll have greater success keeping your teeth whiter if you limit the amount of extrinsic staining in the future. 

#4 Do it safely

Colgate tells us that there are three easy ways to go about whitening your teeth safely. First and foremost, talk to your dentist to determine if your teeth are healthy enough for a whitening regiment and to determine which method is best for you. Second, make sure any at-home treatment has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA reviews many products for safety and acceptance. And third, follow all product instructions to the letter. “Each product is different and follows its own unique duration and frequency of use,” said Dr. Thomas. 

If you overuse a product or incorrectly apply it, you may develop serious side effects as opposed to having limited or no side effects if you were to correctly use your whitening application.

“Here at Advanced Smile Care, our hygiene team just unveiled a new alliance with an effective, take-home whitening product called ‘Love Your Smile,’” said Dr. Thomas. It is a product manufactured by Phillips Sonicare Zoom, and it comes with a travel case, a case for the trays and material for the trays, travel toothpaste, mouthwash and six whitening syringes.

Our team is very excited about “Love My Smile” and patients report seeing results of 6 to 8 shades whiter and brighter in approximately 2 weeks. Make sure to ask about “Love Your Smile” the next time you are in our office, so that when the summer rolls around, you’ll have another big, bright reason to flash that smile.