Million Dollar Smile
Most of us start out with sparkly white teeth. Tooth whitening is the furthest thing from our minds. In fact tooth whitening may not even have existed when we were growing up. But little by little our teeth became dingy looking. Still, the process was so gradual we weren’t even aware it was happening. Besides, there was little we could have done anyway. Certainly regular tooth brushing was not up to the task, no matter how diligent we were.
Before tooth whitening was invented we probably thought it was inevitable to lose the sparkly whiteness of our teeth as we got older. After all, we were used to seeing old people with frightfull-looking teeth; yellowish, brownish or grayish, stained by coffee, tea, wine, grape juice and so many other foods. Even antibiotics can discolor our teeth. We accepted it because there was little choice.
Then along came this magical new procedure and everything changed. Everywhere we go we are blinded by whiter-than-white smiles. And the best part is, it’s not just available to the rich and famous anymore. Everyone is having it done and, if they’re not, they wish they were. The prices have come down to an affordable range for many, and those who don’t have the funds are certainly putting it on their wish list.
Although there are products being sold over the counter that claim to accomplish tooth whitening, it’s best to make your decision about how to proceed after consulting with your dentist. Once you have been evaluated and given the green light to go ahead with whitening, you have to decide whether to let the dentist do it or try to do it yourself. Of course cost will be a consideration.
The procedure works well on yellow teeth, though not as well on brown teeth or gray teeth. You and your dentist should discuss the outcome you can expect once he or she determines the color, or mixture of colors, of your teeth. Hopefully you will get an honest evaluation and will not be given false hopes just for the sake of enriching your dentist, should you decide to have it done in the office..
Assuming it is determined that you are a good candidate for tooth whitening, of course it will be easier and faster to have it done by a qualified dentist. IIt takes only one or two visits. The average price seems to be around $1,000 in metropolitan areas, though you might find better prices by comparison shopping. After all, no one wants to get gouged.
The whole procedure takes about an hour. and there is no pain involved. Usually a rubber shield is placed over your gums to protect them. Then a tooth whitening agent is applied to the teeth. Once that’s done a special light is used to accomplish the best results possible. The worst part of the whole thing is keeping your mouth open the entire hour (and of course the hit to your pocket book).
The results of tooth whitening are quite astonishing. Often teeth become at least eight shades lighte. Your bright, youthful smile is suddenly back. Even the whites of your eyes look whiter. Sometimes you can experience sensitivity after tooth whitening, but that should quickly diminish. Of course you should mention it to your dentist and get proper advice.
Does tooth whitening last forever? Unfortunately, no. Most dentists like to give you a “touch up” annually, but at least follow-up visits are usually less expensive than the first time around.