If you are not happy with the color of your teeth, visiting the dentist for a cosmetic whitening treatment is a great move. You will get better results from professional whitening than you would with an over-the-counter treatment or with whitening strips. However, there are still a few things you should do to ensure you get the most out of your whitening treatment.
1. Tell your dentist what type of results you are looking for
It's important that your dentist knows what your goals are and exactly how white you actually want your teeth to be. If you want bright, white teeth, then tell your dentist that. If you want a more natural look, share that information, too. If it is basically stains you want to get rid of, this is something else your dentist needs to know. There are several types of in-office whitening treatments, and your dentists can also apply them at varying intensities. So if your dentist has a clear picture of your goals, they can tailor your treatment to ensure it meets those goals.
2. Get your teeth cleaned first
Make sure you make an appointment for a professional tooth cleaning a week or less before your whitening treatment. A professional dental hygienist will use scraping tools to remove tartar buildup from the base of your teeth. Without tartar present, the whitening chemicals will do a better job of penetrating your teeth so that you will get more even whitening results.
3. Schedule followup treatments, if recommended
Sometimes, your dentist may be able to get the results you want in just one treatment, and other times, they may need to do a repeat visit to fully whiten your teeth. If your dentist recommends a follow-up visit, it is in your best interest to do it -- even if you are pretty happy with the way your teeth look after just the first appointment. A little extra whitening, as achieved by the second treatment, can make sure your results last longer.
4. Take care of your teeth after treatment.
If you do not change the habits that left you with stained teeth, your teeth will become discolored and stained again soon after your whitening treatment. Stop drinking dark liquids like coffee and red wine and do a better job of brushing after every meal. Avoid smoking and use a whitening mouthwash on a regular basis to further help preserve your results.
Follow the tips above, and you'll be happier with the results of your whitening treatments. For more information, contact your local cosmetic dentistry office.