McKinney Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: teeth whitening

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
December 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Unlike other types of cosmetic damage, dental stains and discolorations tend to develop gradually, making them difficult to detect in the short term. Your teeth may not necessarily look any different in the mirror or in pictures, but over time you may notice that your smile is not only as white and bright as it once was, but it may actually look several shades darker, or duller than you remember. Unfortunately, following a good oral hygiene routine and even going to the dentist regularly may not be enough to protect your teeth from the stains and discolorations that develop from common lifestyle factors and practices like diet, smoking, genetics, and even the aging process itself. Dr. Kenneth Sharp, a dentist in McKinney, TX, recommends professional teeth whitening treatments for the most effective and long-lasting results.

Professional Teeth Whitening in McKinney, TX

Over the counter products like whitening strips and toothpastes can help to counteract the effects of a daily coffee or tea habit to some degree, but they are not as strong or as effective as the professional grade whitening agents used by a dentist. Not only can a professional whitening treatment potentially whiten your teeth by several shades in a single appointment, they are also safer than some products which be abrasive and damage the enamel layer.

Benefits of Professional Tooth Whitening Treatments

Sometimes a simple whitening procedure is all it takes to transform a dull and discolored smile. In many cases, whiter teeth can make people look younger, more confident and competent in their interactions at work and in social settings, and improve personal confidence and self-esteem in the process.

Find a Dentist in McKinney, TX

Ready to invest in a new and improved smile? Contact Stonebridge Ranch Smiles today by calling (972) 984-1882 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sharp.

WhyYouShouldConsideraProfessionalProcedureforYourTeethWhitening

If you're ready to put the "pizzazz" back into your smile, your dentist may be able to help. It's possible your dull, dingy smile could be transformed with teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening or bleaching is a technique that applies a solution with a bleaching agent (usually up to 35% hydrogen peroxide in an office setting) to the teeth to whiten them. Although there are Do-It-Yourself home whitening kits you can use, there are a few good reasons why you should first consider a whitening procedure in a dental office setting.

To begin with, you should first have your teeth examined by a dentist to determine why they're discolored. Certain foods and beverages we consume or tobacco habits are the usual culprits causing stains on the enamel, the outermost tooth layer. These are the kinds of stains targeted by most whitening solutions.

But the interior of a tooth can also become discolored for reasons like trauma, past dental work or tetracycline use at an early age. If your staining is internal (intrinsic) rather than external (extrinsic) reducing that discoloration will require an invasive procedure only a dentist can perform—a home kit won't be able to do the job.

Another reason for having your teeth whitened by your dentist (even extrinsic staining) involves your time and the degree of brightness you'd like. Because dentists use stronger bleaching solutions (home kits usually use a weaker solution of 10% carbamide peroxide) it takes fewer sessions than home kits to achieve results—and they may last longer. In addition, dentists have more control over the level of brightness to match your expectations of a more subdued, natural look or a dazzling "Hollywood" smile.

A dentist can also help you navigate special circumstances like matching and managing natural teeth whiteness with dental restorations (which don't bleach) or special whitening situations like a single discolored tooth.

Even if you eventually decide to go the home kit route, consulting with a dentist first can still prove helpful. You'll get expert advice on products, tips on how to apply them and how to prolong the whitening effect. Whichever way you go, home kit or dentist, you can gain a brighter, more confident smile with teeth whitening.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions…Answered!

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
January 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Does your smile seem dull compared to those around you? Do you feel as though your appearance is brought down by your smile? If so, teeth whiteningyou could benefit from teeth whitening, a fast and simple procedure which produces big, dramatic results. Find out more about teeth whitening and how it enhances your smile’s appearance with Dr. Kenneth Sharp at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX.

What can I expect during a teeth whitening treatment? 
Teeth whitening treatments will begin with a consultation with your dentist. This gives you a chance to address any concerns or ask any questions you have about the procedure. Then, your dentist will section off the teeth from the oral tissues and apply the whitening gel to the surfaces of the teeth. The gel remains on the teeth for about an hour, after which your dentist will rinse the gel and remove any dental apparatuses in the mouth. Depending on the kind of whitening system your dentist uses, a special UV light may be aimed at the teeth during your treatment to aid in the whitening process.

Teeth Whitening Treatments in McKinney, TX
If you think you could benefit from teeth whitening, you should consult with your dentist to ensure that this treatment is the best plan for you and your smile. Dentists advise against teeth whitening for those who are pregnant or nursing or who have a severe tooth sensitivity. Additionally, teeth whitening is not effective against lifting the color of porcelain dental restorations, meaning that if you have visible bridges, veneers, crowns, or other restorations, you may want to reconsider your teeth whitening treatment.

What procedures can I use alongside teeth whitening to further enhance my smile? 
While whitening treatments do not work on porcelain restorations, they can work with porcelain restorations. If you decide that you want to brighten the color of your smile alongside a bridge, veneer, crown, dental implant, or other restoration, you can work with your dentist to choose the color you want, then use teeth whitening around the restorations to lighten the natural teeth to the color of your restoration. Simply plan this process with your dentist to ensure the results you desire.

For more information on teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Sharp at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX. Call (972) 984-1882 to schedule your appointment today!

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
August 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
KathyBatesPlaysItSmartWithProfessionalTeethWhitening

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”

By Stonebridge Ranch Smiles
July 31, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  
4ReasonsWhyaHomeWhiteningKitMightnotbeRightforYou

Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a healthy shine to stained and dulled teeth. They're relatively safe and generally live up to their packaging claims.

But a home kit might not always be your best option. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.

You're on the early side of your teen years. Tooth whitening at home is quite popular with teenagers. For older teens it doesn't really pose a dental risk as long as you use the product appropriately (more on that in a moment). However, the immature enamel of younger teens' permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by whitening processes.

You don't follow instructions well. Not to say you have this particular character quirk — but if you do you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. Home kits are safe if you follow their instructions carefully. If you use them to excess as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could severely (and permanently) erode your teeth's protective enamel.

Your teeth are in need of dental work. Tooth whitening can't fix everything that may be contributing to an unattractive smile. It's always better to have issues like dental disease or chipped teeth addressed first before whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration originates from inside your tooth, a whitening kit won't help — they're only designed for staining on the enamel's outside surface. You'll need a special dental procedure to whiten internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining.

You want to control the amount of brightness. Home kits don't have the level of fine-tuning that a clinical procedure can achieve. While the bleaching agent in a professional whitening solution is much stronger than a home kit, your dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. And clinical whitening usually takes fewer sessions and may last longer than a home kit.

If you're interested in teeth whitening, see your dentist for a dental examination first before purchasing a DIY kit. Even if you decide to do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as how-to tips.

If you would like more information on tooth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”