Teeth Whitening Options
Whether it’s a glass of red wine with dinner, a handful of blueberries for a snack, or that cup of morning coffee — all of these favorites of our collective diets tend to stain our teeth. Plus, our teeth naturally become a little more dingy with the passing years. But at Broadway Family Dentistry we can brighten your smile with our in-office or at-home teeth whitening treatments. They’ll take away the stains and leave your teeth up to eight shades whiter.
Our office has three great teeth whitening options in Minot, North Dakota.
Laser Teeth Whitening
The first option is great for people that do not have a lot of time but want that jump start to lighter/brighter teeth in just one visit. Dr. Jensen uses professional strength whitening gel and our laser to safely speed up the whitening process. Unlike other whitening lights, the use of our Er: YAG laser does not heat the nerve of the tooth the way some intense lights or lasers can. This significantly reduces any risk of nerve damage and sensitivity caused by many of the other whitenings.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The second option is perfect if you want the initial boost of an in-office treatment, but the ability to touch up your brightness of the teeth at home, our custom whitening trays are your best choice. In just two short appointments, our doctors create custom fit trays that are fabricated and delivered. Professional grade whitening material is sent home with you to whiten teeth faster and more predictably than any product available for purchase OTC. Within a few days, you will already notice a difference in color. It doesn’t take long to brighten your smile.
Glo whitening is the only teeth whitening technology to combine gentle warming heat and safe LED light in a closed system mouthpiece to accelerate the results with optimal patient comfort. The benefits of Glo Professional In-Office whitening are faster, brighter results with less sensitivity than traditional in office methods. The At-Home Glo professional whitening allows patients to use the same technology with the highest strength of whitening that is allowed to be dispensed for home use.
Glo whitening is perfect for patients that want to whitening quickly. The in-office professional whitening allows patients to have lighter, brighter teeth in an hour and is great for those that are busy at home or need their teeth lighter right away. The at-home whitening is perfect for patients that already have bright teeth and want to maintain a lighter shade or those that find it more convenient to whiten at home due to work/family schedule. Ideally, cavities have been fixed first to prevent discomfort.
Crowns and existing fillings do not whiten with any at home or professional whitening product. If patients have an existing filling/crown that they do not like the shade of, whiten first and then a new filling or crown could get placed to match the new brighter/whiter teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Tooth Stains?
Our tooth enamel, like our fingerprints, is unique. No two people have exactly the same color and porosity. There are many reasons our enamel becomes stained and more yellow. Some you can control; others not so much. Most stains are on the enamel, the outer protective covering on the teeth. Some, especially the result of medications, can be on the dentin (the bulk of the tooth beneath the enamel) and are harder to address.
These factors can impact the whiteness of your teeth:
- What you eat — Foods such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries have natural pigments in them that stain the teeth.
- What you drink — Coffee, tea, red wine, some juices, and colas also stain your teeth.
- Smoking — Nicotine leaves yellow stains on the teeth.
- Drugs — Tetracycline is the main culprit in stained dentin. This antibiotic used heavily in the 60s and 70s left the teeth of many children who had taken it stained. Sometimes this staining is so deep and pervasive that the only way to address it is with bonding or porcelain veneers.
- Fluorosis — If a child has too much fluoride, it leads to fluorosis, which stains the teeth. This is very rare.
- Your genes — Each of us has a different shade of the enamel on our teeth. Some is more yellow than others.
What is Teeth Whitening?
At Broadway Family Dental, we offer two teeth whitening procedures for our patients to remove the stains and return your teeth to their natural whiteness. Our in-office treatment uses a laser to activate our professional whitening gel. Our at-home whitening trays accomplish the same degree of whitening, but at a slower pace at home.
How Does Tooth Whitening Work?
The enamel, the protective outer layer of our teeth, may seem hard as a rock — in fact, it is the hardest tissue on the human body — but it is also porous. That’s how stains accumulate. When we eat a blueberry or have some coffee, our saliva washes away most of the pigment present in these foods and drinks. But tiny amounts penetrate the enamel and lodge. You don’t notice any staining immediately, but over time it makes your teeth more and more yellow and dingy.
Teeth whitening gels, usually made of hydrogen peroxide, break up stains in the enamel in much the same way detergents do with clothing stains. The peroxide gel penetrates the enamel, just as the stains did, and they directly impact the pigment, breaking it up and washing it away.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Our in-office teeth whitening takes about one hour. Our at-home whitening kits need to be on your teeth for 30 minutes a day for one to two weeks.
How Long Will My Teeth Stay White?
As you may assume, this depends on you. If you drink more coffee and red wine, and enjoy our North Dakota summer raspberries and blueberries, your teeth will eventually stain again, but they should look great for at least a year.
Your home hygiene will play a role. If you’re diligent with brushing and flossing, and use an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste, your teeth will stay white. Also, it’s important to keep your twice-yearly professional cleaning and exam appointments with our team at Broadway Family Dental. When we clean your teeth we use a moderately abrasive paste that scrubs away stains on the enamel.
Also, if you have at-home trays, you can simply come back in for another batch of whitening gel and whiten your teeth again. Or, come back in for another in-office treatment.
Will I See Immediate Results With Teeth Whitening?
With our in-office teeth whitening, you’ll come in and in an hour your teeth will be up to seven or eight shades whiter. With our at-home kits, your results will take about two weeks to fully show, but each 30-minute treatment will make them whiter and whiter.
Does Teeth Whitening Cause Sensitivity?
Teeth whitening can make your teeth a little sensitive for a day or two, but this passes. Teeth whitening is a safe and satisfying procedure.
Is Teeth Whitening Covered By Insurance?
Teeth whitening is considered to be an elective “cosmetic” treatment, and it is not covered by insurance.