Teeth Whitening for a Brilliant Smile

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Teeth Whitening for Improved Cosmetics

The practice of teeth whitening is a very common procedure with a multitude of options and solutions, both in home and professionally in the office. But if one is considering teeth whitening with orthodontic braces there are some preemptive suggestions. We’ll take a look at the teeth whitening products and processes first, then introduce the wrinkle of having braces. At the end, we’ll simply suggest the best practice through it all and that is good oral hygiene during and after your orthodontic adventure.

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Common Teeth Whitening Solutions

The at home solutions are numerous. To begin with there is always whitening toothpastes available. These have enamel-strengthening fluoride as well as some additional stain removing chemicals and polishing agents. There are strips available that you apply to your teeth, bleaching pens and gels with bleaching agents that can be painted on your teeth. Over the counter, at home solutions have half the amount of the peroxide bleaching agent that is available professionally in Dr. Pan’s office. At home processes take considerably more time than the process done chair side with Dr. Pan’s staff.

Professional teeth whitening can be in one or two visits. The gel with the peroxide bleaching agent is painted on your teeth, allowed to harden, and then removed. You can monitor the improvements and add several more applications to achieve your goals. These goals are documented through an evaluation and a consultation to see what is possible.

What Causes Teeth Discoloration

Each and every one of us is guilty of staining, discoloring or yellowing our teeth. There are two types of discoloration, extrinsic, or external, and intrinsic, or internal. There are some beverages that are more susceptible to extrinsic staining than others. Dark colas, sports drinks, coffee, teas and red wine are leading candidates for staining. Dark fruits, beets, tomato sauce and soy sauce are good examples of food products. Of course, any and all tobacco products will yellow your teeth.

Intrinsic discoloration is when your enamel, which is naturally translucent, becomes thinner and the darker dentin layer underneath begins to show through. This often is something much harder to deal with when attempting to teeth whiten enamel that can’t hide that dentin.

Teeth Whitening with Braces

Prior to starting your braces application you will have your teeth professionally cleaned. It might also be the perfect time to consider having your teeth whitened as well before the placement of the devices. If that is not possible, or in hindsight overlooked, you can successfully teeth whiten during the time braces are on your teeth. With the most common types of braces, the traditional method, be apprised that if you have brackets on your teeth and you bleach around those brackets that when those brackets are removed there will be yellow blocks on
your enamel where those brackets where cemented to your teeth. The option of using trays at home and bleaching gels becomes extremely difficult since the trays become very hard to make with the metal appliances on your teeth. Even though they can be made they lose their effectiveness.

If you had lingual braces you can have more successful results bleaching just the outside of your teeth. Lingual braces are when the brackets and the arch wire are on the inside, the tongue side of your teeth. So no hardware on the outside. Another option is growing rapidly in popularity and that is Invisalign. This process uses clear trays to apply the force and pressure to move your teeth. Designed with a CAD-CAM system, computer aided design and computer aided manufacture, these trays are designed to be worn about 20-22 hours a day but can be removed for the regular brushing and flossing of your teeth. Since the trays can be removed it also offers then the opportunity to have your teeth whitened at any time through the process.

Suffice it to say your teeth whitening can be done at any time through the orthodontic braces process. The average duration of any type of braces is about thirteen months, with the process running from six months to 18 months depending on the severity of the correction you are seeking.

Good Oral Hygiene

Whether you wish to teeth whiten or not, good oral hygiene habits are a must. While wearing braces you need to be slow and deliberate about your teeth brushing habits. You can easily use a teeth whitening toothpaste during the process. You need to do your best in flossing as well while wearing braces. The brackets and arch wire will harbor food particles. These particles will quickly develop into plaque which carries damaging bacteria. If Dr. Pan and yourself to use the Invisalign solution you can avoid the metal hardware and care for your teeth in the regular conventional fashion.

Risks Involved

With teeth whitening during the wearing of braces there are a few small risks. We already mentioned that you could have your appliances removed after your orthodontic procedure is completed and notice a difference in color. The bleaching agent cannot work on the enamel that is underneath any brackets. Also, due to the nature of having force and pressure being applied to your teeth to move them they may already be sensitive. The bleaching agent can add to this discomfort.

all about your Smile

Your decision with Dr. Pan by pursuing braces is to improve crooked teeth, to straighten teeth, to improve gaps and to improve crowding. All of these issues affect your smile. Your smile is directly related to your level of self-confidence and self-awareness. The quality of your smile affects your personal life and your professional presence. Your braces will take six to 18 months, so you will be going through a process that takes some patience. Ask Dr. Pan if you can have your teeth whitened before you have the brackets installed and then again upon completion. From that point on you can consider having your teeth whitened with your regular six-month visit. Professionally cleaned, professionally whitened. Enjoy your smile!

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

Patient Information

Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.