Teeth Whitening in Waco, TX
We offer professional teeth whitening at our office. This means that, for $150 we provide custom trays and whitening solution. For this procedure, we take an impression (mold) of top and bottom teeth and build customized trays that precisely fit teeth. You then wear these trays overnight until you reach the level of whitening you desire.
1) Does whitening toothpaste work?
- Whitening toothpaste is often only called “whitening” because it has extra abrasives in it to brush off stain. So if your teeth are stained, it may “whiten” them. However, if you are expecting a color change, whitening toothpaste gives you false hope.
- The BEST whitening toothpaste in my opinion is Rembrandt PLUS. It is the only toothpaste I know of with active whitener in it (9% Carbamide Peroxide). It is unlikely to whiten your teeth alone, but it is the toothpaste we recommend for our whitening patients. Your teeth will feel slick and smooth after using this toothpaste for a few weeks.
2) Do whitening mouthwashes work?
The Listerine whitening mouthwash and Crest Whitening Mouthwash are both basically flavored hydrogen peroxide. Mouthwashes are exposed to teeth for about 1 minute, and produce little to no change.
3) What about in-office whitening?
We offer in-office whitening that takes about 1 hour. It is $400, and includes a custom set of home whitening trays and solution for touch ups.
4) At what age is it safe to whiten teeth?
Once all of the permanent teeth are in place and the roots are developed, it is safe. Meaning that it can be safe at ages as young as 12. However, we are VERY cautious with young people who want to whiten, and use very low concentrations of the gel to insure their safety. Young teeth whiten EXTREMELY well. Many of our teenage patients whiten teeth after braces and get AMAZING results.
- Brush your teeth and floss before whitening.
- Put the appropriate amount of gel in the area of the tray that sits on the front of your teeth.
- Dry your teeth off (with gauze, paper towels, or for maximum results, a hair dryer pointed at your teeth for 30-40 seconds) and load the trays with whitening gel and place them into your mouth. Diligently wipe off excess gel on your gums with a moist Q-tip. Go to Bed.
- In the morning, remove the trays, rinse the trays with COLD water. Brush teeth with a lukewarm water.
- Everyone’s teeth whiten at different rates. Some people’s teeth absorb whitening gel very well, others are more whitening resistant. We check teeth in about 2 ½ to 3 weeks to see how you are progressing and at that time, make any necessary changes to get you the best results.
You have custom trays fabricated using the impressions we took of your teeth. You also have 8 tubes of Opalescence Tooth Whitener. Each of these tubes of whitener provides enough gel for about 3-4 nights of whitening for one arch of your mouth (upper or lower). After brushing (preferably with Rembrandt Plus) and flossing, dry your teeth thoroughly and express the syringe of whitener into the front side of the tray (except the last molar) as recommended. You should use 1/4th to 1/3rd of the tube. Place the trays into your mouth. The gel is thick and the trays are flexible, so the gel causes the outer rim of the tray to be pushed away from the gum line. After you put the tray in your mouth, you’ll push the tray back against the teeth to establish the seal of the tray at the gum line – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! If you’ve put too much gel in the tray, you’ll notice a significant amount of gel oozing from under the edge of the tray. Take a Q-Tip and remove the excess, and next time use a little less gel. If you’ve put in too little gel, you will see large open voids (little bubbles are OK) through the clear trays in the reservoirs not entirely filled with gel. If you see this, do NOT remove the tray. There is plenty of gel in the trays to start your whitening, but next time, use a little more gel. If you have put the appropriate amount of gel in the trays, when you push the trays back against your teeth, you should see just a little gel ‘peek’ out from under the edge of the tray. In the morning, after removing the trays, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water. Cold or hot water may be slightly uncomfortable to rinse with at that time. Then, brush your teeth.
What to expect
You may expect slight gum or tooth sensitivity after wearing the trays. If you feel more than slight sensitivity of the teeth or gums, please give us a call. You may notice your teeth look ‘funny.’ They may develop white spots. The area of the teeth near the gum line may look dark (this is because the rest of the tooth has become so light in comparison). The color may look too opaque (chalky). This will even-out. You may find lower teeth do not lighten as quickly as upper teeth. This is because lower teeth are smaller, and the reservoirs of the tray are smaller. If there is a noticeable difference between the upper and lower teeth when whitening is complete, we may recommend wearing the application trays for another week on the lower teeth.
Other Bits of Information
You should wear whitening trays while you sleep, at least one night every two months for protection against staining. Wearing the trays one night every 2 months keeps your teeth a very stable color indefinitely. However, if you want to keep them even brighter white indefinitely, you may wear the trays one night per month. Whitening gel for maintenance is free at our office at your 6 month cleanings with our whitening for life program. In addition to whitening, oxygen also deep-cleans teeth removing microscopic debris between the crystals of tooth structure. During and for a week or two after whitening, these ‘pores’ are cleansed and open. During the two weeks of at-home whitening, stay away from staining foods and drinks. We don’t want stain to fill in the microscopic pores during whitening. Any food or beverage which would permanently stain a white shirt or blouse could also stain teeth. If possible, when drinking a staining beverage, it may help to keep the beverage off the outer surface of the teeth by carefully drinking through a straw. Smoking should be at a minimum during the whitening process. These precautions should be followed during the whitening process and for at least a week after the completion of whitening. Teeth with Silver fillings may leave a purple residue in the tray. This is okay. If possible do NOT skip nights when whitening. We find that this slows down the whitening process. Store your whitening trays safely. Keep them away from heat – heat distorts them. Don’t leave them in the hot car, wash them in warm or hot water, and keep them away from your dog. Dogs seem to think whitening trays are chew-toys. Most importantly, place the trays carefully in the storage case we give you. You can use a Tupperware container at home. Store them LOOSELY so they are not bent or crushed as you will not be able to re-use them.
PROTECT AND KEEP YOUR TRAYS AS YOU WILL CONTINUE TO USE THEM IN THE FUTURE.