Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening in Austin TX

White teeth are one of the most important elements of a dazzling smile, and one of the questions we get most often is how to whiten teeth.

Among the several ways to whiten teeth that are available today, Austin City Dental offers two of the best types of teeth whitening: Zoom® Whitening 
and At-home custom tray whitening. Each type of treatment can eliminate the superficial stains, yellowing, and darkening that come with age.

For a brighter, whiter smile in about an hour, we offer Zoom® Whitening. Zoom® in-office whitening procedure offers a brighter, whiter smile in two hours. After your in-office procedure follow-up with additional whitening treatments at home, as needed. We provide a follow-up kit and custom trays to use at home after your in-office procedure at no additional charge to you.

If you don’t want to spend two hours in the dental chair, we offer an alternative option that is so simple that you can do it on the go. We call it take-home tray whitening, and it’s a take-home kit with custom-fitted mouth trays, professional-strength dental bleach and easy-to-follow instructions. You apply the bleach to the mouth trays and wear them for 30 minutes up to 1 hour depending on the strength of the solution you choose. You typically do this every day for 1-2 weeks.

When using the trays, be sure to brush and floss before inserting the bleaching trays. The gel works more effectively on clean teeth. Place a small tear-shaped droplet of gel on the inner lining of the tray that comes in contact with the face of each tooth to be lightened, and wear the tray for 30 minutes to one hour. Adjust the tray to fit snugly against the sides of the teeth, and remove excess gel with a clean finger or cotton swab.

After treatment begins, you may experience sensitivity to temperature changes or acidic foods. If the sensitivity persists, hold off on the treatment for 1 or 2 nights. If the sensitivity is especially intense and does not subside, stop the treatments and call our office. Occasionally tooth sensitivity and/or gingival irritation may require treatment. The first treatment of choice is application of a sticky, viscous potassium nitrate gel that may be worn in the bleaching tray from 1-2 hours to overnight, as needed.

Most of the tooth whitening will occur in 1-2 weeks if the treatments are done consistently. Lowering your intake of caffeinated drinks, staining foods and refraining from smoking will optimize your results. The trays should be cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush and soapy water and stored in the case we provide you.

Although this is one of the best ways to whiten teeth, as a safety precaution, pregnant women or lactating mothers should not use bleaching treatments. Also, do not use tobacco products or eat while wearing bleaching trays and be sure to keep the gel out of heat and sunlight and do not freeze it. Finally, understand that foods and juices high in acid may cause sensitivity, and crowns and other tooth-colored restorations do not respond to bleaching, and may require alteration or replacement to match whitened tooth shades.

Reasons for Teeth Whitening

Everyone wants a white, healthy smile. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Stains and discolorations are all-too-common dental problems, which explains why teeth whitening is such a popular procedure. Regular oral exams and cleanings can ward off the majority of stains, but some things are beyond your control. The simple act of aging can produce stains, and various environmental and lifestyle factors can too. The good news is that most stains can be resolved through safe, effective teeth whitening procedures.

Avoid Stains with Good Oral Hygiene and Smart Habits

Avoiding stains on the teeth is a lot better than having to remove them. Excellent oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, can help you avoid the majority of stains. Visit the dentist to have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.

Another great way to prevent stained teeth is by avoiding certain foods and drinks or brushing immediately after enjoying them. Examples include red wine, coffee and soda drinks. Tobacco use can quickly and permanently stain teeth and is also bad for your health, so kick the habit as quickly as possible.

Are You an Ideal Candidate for Teeth Whitening?

As effective as teeth whitening can be, it’s not appropriate for everyone. Whether you decide to use an over-the-counter teeth whitening product or opt for a dentist-supervised procedure, you should consult with your dentist to find out whether it’s safe. Certain types of teeth should not be exposed to even mild concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which are used in these procedures and products.

Conditions that might preclude you from undergoing teeth whitening include:

  • Tooth decay
  • White spots on the teeth
  • Infection of the gums
  • Discolored teeth
  • Sensitive Teeth
  • Certain types of dental work, including crowns and bridges

How does Teeth Whitening Work?

Teeth whitening involves a chemical reaction that penetrates the enamel of the teeth to bleach stains below the surface. Hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may be used. In either case, these chemicals work their way into the porous parts of the enamel to bleach stain deposits in the dentin, which is the layer just below the enamel. Teeth whitening at a dental office is hastened through the use of special lights that accelerate the bleaching process.
Teeth Whitening: Explore Your Options

If you’ve ever walked through a drugstore, you already know that there are entire sections dedicated to teeth-whitening products. These over-the-counter teeth-whitening kits are easy to use, but they aren’t usually the best option. Don’t use one without consulting with your dentist first. After doing that, you will probably choose to have the whitening performed in the office or with a take-home kit from your dentist instead.

The main problem with over-the-counter teeth-whitening products is that they’re not as strong as the products your dentist can supply. You may have to expose your teeth to whitening chemicals over longer periods of time to achieve noticeable results, which can be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Furthermore, your dentist won’t really be involved in the process, which can lead to problems later.

Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits from Your Dentist

A nice alternative to over-the-counter teeth-whitening kits are take-home kits provided by your dentist. They are actually similar to what you’ll find in drugstores, but they contain stronger chemicals that produce results a lot more quickly. When used as directed, they can also whiten your teeth more dramatically.

The primary advantage of a take-home kit is that it’s convenient. It’s also reassuring to know that it has been approved by your dentist. After a routine oral exam or teeth cleaning appointment, your dentist will send you home with the kit. You will receive instructions on how to use it properly. A follow-up appointment may be scheduled to ensure that the kit has worked and that you’re satisfied with the results.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Like many people, you may be anxious to see results right away. You may also simply prefer to have this work performed in a professional setting. In-office teeth-whitening procedures are available, and they typically take around 45 minutes to complete.

The process is simple. A dental assistant will cover your gums and lips to protect them from the whitening gel, which will be applied to the teeth. A special light will be directed at the teeth to speed up the whitening process. You can expect this to last for about 15 minutes. At that point, more gel will be applied, and the process will be repeated. The gel will be applied a final time, and you will be all set when the last 15-minute interval is complete.

In the dentist’s office, you can expect the teeth-whitening procedure to lighten your teeth by five to 10 shades, and you’ll step out with a brighter, whiter smile.