Achieving the perfect smile doesn’t always come easy. There’s a lot of time and effort to complete orthodontic treatment! It can be disappointing if your teeth are straighter but not as white as you would like. You may even be dealing with some discoloration once your braces come off.
If you’re looking to brighten up your brand new smile, you may not be sure where to start. We can help! Here at Texas Family Orthodontics, we often hear from patients hoping to amp up the wattage on their smile once they’ve wrapped up their treatment. If this sounds like you, keep reading below to learn how you can accomplish that!
Teeth whitening 101
There are two types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are on the surface of your teeth and are usually caused by food, drinks, or other substances. This includes coffee, tea, and nicotine. Quite a bit of extrinsic staining can be removed by brushing daily with a whitening toothpaste.
Intrinsic stains go deeper, existing beneath the enamel. They can be the result of extended exposure to a variety of substances. Whatever the underlying cause, they’re harder to remove than extrinsic stains. Fortunately, teeth whitening agents contain active oxidizing agents, like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, that react with the “inside” of the teeth. They mix with the stains there and break them apart, giving teeth a noticeably whiter appearance!
Some whitening treatments may cause your teeth to be sensitive, although this is usually temporary and will go away on its own. If you’re already prone to sensitive teeth, you can try using desensitizing toothpaste for at least a full month before attempting any whitening products. You should also let us know before your teeth whitening appointment so our doctors can change the protocol or frequency of application if necessary.
It’s important to have realistic expectations about what teeth whitening treatments can and can’t accomplish. They can’t change the color of your fillings, veneers, or crowns. These treatments won’t be able to change the actual color of your teeth, either. Most people can achieve fantastic results, however, especially with professional teeth whitening!
Brightening your smile after braces
There are a couple of reasons for patients to inquire about teeth whitening in our San Antonio or Windcrest office. Some are simply looking to achieve the most attractive smile possible—whitening your teeth after having your braces removed can feel like icing on the cake! Others may have noticed some discoloration of their teeth during or after the orthodontic process. Contrary to popular belief, braces won’t stain your teeth. So what’s the culprit here?
When you wear braces, it can be difficult to remove plaque from around the brackets and wire. They create lots of little nooks and crannies that can attract food debris and bacteria. If these aren’t brushed or rinsed away, plaque can form and build up in those areas. If this plaque is allowed to sit on a tooth for too long, it will begin stripping away the tooth enamel. It can also lead to discoloration or staining. If this occurs, you may find that there are darker areas where the brackets were placed with white surrounding them when your braces are removed.
Whatever your reason for wanting a brighter smile once your braces are off, there are multiple teeth whitening options! While at-home products are convenient, you’ll see the best results with professional procedures. These treatments use more powerful products and produce the desired effect in less time. They also protect your entire mouth, including the tooth enamel, while some over-the-counter products contain abrasive chemicals that may irritate your mouth. Let’s look at the in-office whitening services we offer and how they can benefit your smile!
Zoom! Whitening treatments are another option for our patients in San Antonio, Windcrest, and the surrounding communities. This method is quick, effective, and produces beautiful results that last! This in-office, chair-side whitening system can brighten your smile in as little as two hours. With more than 10 million users, Zoom! Whitening provides a reliable, pain-free alternative to store-bought whitening kits.
This teeth whitening method uses a gel that is activated by a special light. As one of the safest methods of whitening teeth, you can feel confident in Zoom! Here’s how it works:
Step 1—After cleaning your teeth, we’ll use an instrument to hold your mouth open. Then your doctor will cover your gums and lips to show only your teeth.
Step 2—Next, we’ll apply the whitening gel and expose your teeth to a special light. This light activates the gel, helping it to lighten deep stains.
Step 3—Finally, we’ll remove the gel, and you can enjoy your beautifully whitened smile!
With stunning results in as little as one office visit, this teeth whitening method is excellent for a brighter smile. After your in-office whitening procedure is complete, we’ll provide you with at-home whitening trays at no additional cost to maintain your smile for life!
It’s important to remember that the success of any teeth whitening procedure will depend on the genetic makeup of your teeth. You only want to whiten your teeth back to their natural shade for the best results. That shade won’t always be bright white! Most people will find their natural teeth are an off-white color, and that’s entirely normal. Be realistic about your expectations, and let your doctor know if you have any questions or concerns.
Get a brighter, whiter smile with Texas Family Orthodontics
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to get your perfect smile. Everyone has their own needs and wants, so we’re proud to offer Zoom! Whitening to our patients throughout San Antonio and Windcrest. If you’ve been searching for the best way to get a whiter smile or are looking to put the finishing touches on orthodontic treatment, our team is here for you!
Contact us today to learn more about our teeth whitening options and which would be the best fit for your smile and your life!