One of the most common concerns for our patients is how they can achieve whiter teeth. At Saco River Dentistry, we offer state-of-the-art teeth whitening, which can remove years of stains and discoloration in a single treatment. From the comfort of our state-of-the-art practice, our cosmetic dentists can enhance the radiance of your smile in as little as one hour. We have extensive experience whitening teeth using an innovative approach, and they have helped thousands of patients improve their smiles. Your comfort, safety, and results are our highest priorities, and our team is dedicated to providing an exceptional experience from start to finish.
- What Causes Teeth Staining?
- Over-the-Counter Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
- Teeth Whitening Procedure
- Teeth Whitening and Tooth Sensitivity
- Teeth Whitening Results
- Teeth Whitening Costs
- Teeth Whitening FAQs
What Causes Teeth Staining?
Many foods, drinks, medications, and habits can lead to teeth staining and discoloration, and we encourage you to limit the following to help extend the life of your whitening results:
- Tobacco Use
- Wine, Coffee, & Tea
If you have any questions about what can cause staining or how to maintain a beautifully white smile, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re available to provide additional information as needed.
Over-the-Counter Vs. Professional Teeth Whitening
Patients today have so many options to brighten and whiten their teeth, but it’s important to understand they are not all equivalently effective or safe. Over-the-counter whitening treatments like strips and toothpastes can often lighten the teeth a shade or two but do not offer powerful whitening, which can be achieved in a professional procedure. As a result, we recommend these accessible options as “touch-up” treatments between professional bleachings. That said, be careful which approach you take. Natural teeth whitening techniques, particularly charcoal teeth whitening, can cause damage to teeth. Charcoal is an abrasive substance, even when finely ground, and we urge patients not to use it for brushing their teeth as this can cause increased tooth sensitivity and even decay. Similarly, coconut oil teeth whitening has no documented scientific research to back up its use, so likely this substance provides no results at all. We can help you determine which products can be useful in your daily life at your initial consultation.
What Is the Teeth Whitening Procedure Like?
At Saco River Dentistry, we use KOR® whitening, which offers numerous benefits. KOR® also includes a number of approaches, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs, goals, and personal preferences. No lights or lasers are necessary with this method; KOR® makes it possible to achieve a dramatically brighter smile with natural-looking results using a combination of in-office and at-home treatments. The first step is two weeks of at-home whitening using a customized tray that you will fill with the bleaching agent and wear each night (or during the day, if you prefer). Once this portion of treatment is complete, you will come in for a final in-office treatment to solidify your whiter smile. We also recommend using KOR® periodically to ensure your smile stays beautiful for as long as possible.
How Is Tooth Sensitivity Managed During Teeth Whitening?
One of the many benefits of KOR® whitening is the gentle patient experience. Teeth are prepped with a desensitizing substance as an extra precaution, which “plugs” the openings in the dentin that can lead to discomfort. As a result, most patients find that KOR® provides little to no sensitivity during or after treatment, and individuals with particularly sensitive teeth have the option of shorter day-time treatment. Let us know what your concerns are, and we will help you find a solution that increases your comfort without sacrificing your results.
How Long Do Teeth Whitening Results Last?
Typically, professional teeth whitening will last about six months, depending on your lifestyle habits and diet. Smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking tea, coffee, wine, or soda can stain teeth faster. But KOR offers long-term results with its periodic touch-up applications, which can allow you to enjoy your whiter smile for years. Talk to us about this extended care plan to find out if it is right for you.
How Much Does Teeth Whitening Cost?
The cost of teeth whitening varies from patient to patient because of customizable treatment plans. On average, the cost ranges from $350-700. Factors that may contribute to the overall price include:
- Which professional whitening method you choose
- In-office or at-home treatments
- Amount of discoloration and/or the degree of staining that need to be addressed
After your initial consultation, our dentists can provide you with a more personalized quote for your teeth whitening treatment. We also offer our patients dental financing options.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening
Is Teeth Whitening Safe?
Professional teeth whitening is widely considered to be a safe and effective treatment for brightening your smile. Treatments administered by a skilled cosmetic dentist are considered safer than over-the-counter bleaching products, with a reduced risk of heightened tooth sensitivity and enamel damage.
What Should I Eat After Teeth Whitening?
Immediately after teeth whitening, your enamel is more porous and thus at greater risk for staining, so it’s recommended that patients avoid highly-pigmented foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth—including coffee, tea, red wine, berries, chocolate, and tomato-based sauces. Instead, opt for foods that are lighter in color, like eggs, potatoes, white cheeses, chicken, fish, and bananas. After a couple of days, the tooth enamel becomes less porous, and patients can return to their normal diet. That said, for long-lasting results, dentists recommend avoiding highly-pigmented food and drinks on a regular basis.
Can I Get Teeth Whitening While Pregnant?
Teeth whitening is generally considered a very safe procedure, but it is not recommended for pregnant women. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises pregnant women to delay teeth whitening treatment as a result of the chemicals used during the bleaching process.
Does Teeth Whitening Hurt?
Most patients report that teeth whitening is a fairly comfortable treatment, and it should not be painful. In some cases, patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity during and after treatment, but this typically resolves within a few days to weeks. At Saco River Dentistry, we offer KOR® whitening, which offers patients a gentler treatment process designed to greatly reduce the risk of sensitivity and discomfort.
Our goal is to provide the best service possible, and we are happy to answer questions and help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Just give us a call at (207) 929-3900 for more information or to schedule a consultation.