Here at Coleman Orthodontics, we know that your time in braces can be quite a journey, requiring a lot of time and dedication on your part. When the day finally comes to ditch the brackets and wires, it’s something worth celebrating! But what happens if your newly aligned teeth are discolored or you just want them whiter and brighter? How do you approach teeth whitening after braces?
It’s common for patients to desire a whiter smile after the completion of orthodontic treatment. After all, your smile is now beautifully straight. Whitening can be the icing on the cake! The finishing touch! Fortunately, there are some options for teeth whitening after braces that can give you the kind of bright and beautiful smile you want to show off to the world. Let’s take a closer look at what options are available to you once your braces come off.
Options for teeth whitening
There are quite a few options when it comes to teeth whitening, from toothpaste to whitening trays. While over-the-counter products are available for teeth whitening, it’s important to seek the guidance of a professional to achieve the best results.
Opalescence Go whitening trays
Coleman Orthodontics is proud to offer our patients Opalescence Go at-home professional whitening trays at an affordable price. These pre-filled trays are made from innovative UltraFit technology to mold to your teeth so they can be used right out of the box. The whitening gel used with the trays is available in 10% and 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you can choose the strength of your kit. Once you receive the kit, you’ll place the whitening gel in the tray, and the gel will whiten your stained teeth. Unlike strips, this process is able to whiten all your natural teeth, not just the front ones. Although you may notice results in as little as three to five days, most at-home professional tray whitening will take about ten days to two weeks to yield the best results.
Opalescence whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is the least expensive and most easily accessible option for brightening up your smile. Opalescence whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains using a unique tri-silica blend and can lighten your teeth up to two shades in just 30 dates. It’s even gentle enough for daily use!
Your regular toothpaste is designed to help remove some surface stains as they clean teeth and improve the health of your mouth. Whitening toothpaste takes this one step further by adding more abrasive ingredients, such as silica, to scrub the surface of the teeth and help remove even more surface stains. Opalescence whitening toothpaste will also strengthen your enamel to help prevent cavities!
After you begin using a whitening toothpaste, it can take several weeks to begin to see results. Because whitening toothpaste doesn’t change the actual color of your teeth, any results can be undone by continuing habits that contribute to stains on the teeth, or by discontinuing the use of the product.
How does teeth whitening work?
To understand how teeth whitening works, you need to understand how teeth become discolored in the first place. There are two types of discoloration: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are essentially surface stains left from coffee, tea, nicotine, etc. Brushing your teeth daily with whitening toothpaste can help to remove some of these extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains are actually below the enamel, and these are caused by years of exposure to staining substances, making them harder to remove.
Teeth whitening agents are able to get stains from “inside” your tooth out with whitening gels, or bleaching agents, that contain an oxidizing agent in the form of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This is the active ingredient in most whitening agents. The gel reacts with the internal aspect of your tooth, mixing with the discolored areas and breaking them apart, giving your teeth a noticeably whiter appearance!
Results will vary when you use whitening toothpaste and other whitening products, depending on your unique teeth. Whitening treatments are also unable to change the color of fillings, veneers, or crowns. For lasting results with tooth whitening toothpaste, you’ll need to continue to use it as directed by your orthodontist, brushing with it at least twice per day. Don’t forget to floss for the overall health of your teeth and gums, too!
Brightening your newly straightened smile with Coleman Orthodontics
Once your braces have been removed, we recommend getting a professional cleaning at your general dentist’s office before attempting any sort of at-home whitening treatment. This will ensure all outer stains, plaque, or tartar is removed before starting the whitening process. In some cases, whitening may cause tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is temporary and goes away once you complete the whitening treatment. If you know you are prone to sensitive teeth, you can try using desensitizing toothpaste for at least one month before beginning any whitening. You should also let us know if you are having any sensitivity, as Dr. Coleman may be able to change the protocol or frequency of the whitening application.
Whether you are currently wearing braces or just completed treatment, or you are looking for teeth whitening options in Syracuse or the surrounding areas, we can help answer any questions you have about achieving a brighter, whiter smile after braces treatment. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation! We can help top your new smile off with the finishing touch!