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Answering Your Top Questions about Teeth Whitening


Everyone deserves to have a bright smile. Teeth whitening is undoubtedly among the most popular and affordable cosmetic dental procedures, but many people instead opt for over-the-counter options and find disappointing results. It’s important to know that your dentist can help when it comes to achieving a brighter, whiter smile with a simple, in-office treatment. Here’s what to know about it and answers to some common questions we see.

Why Are My Teeth Stained?

A lot of things can contribute to teeth staining, with the most common being your choice of food and drink. A general rule of thumb is that anything capable of staining your clothes will definitely stain your teeth. Therefore, you should consume foods and drinks such as berries, coffee, red wine, soda, and tea with moderation.

Naturally, the more you expose your teeth to such foods and drinks, the more your teeth become discolored. Additionally, the tar and nicotine present in cigarettes leave behind deep and severe stains after smoking. Other factors responsible for teeth staining include certain medications, genetics, and age.

Why Should I Consider Professional Teeth Whitening?

By far, the greatest advantage of getting your teeth whitened by your dentist is quick results. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, professional teeth whitening uses stronger products to achieve noticeably whiter teeth in one treatment. Over-the-counter kits sold at drug stores typically take weeks or longer to achieve noticeable results.

How Long Will the Results Last?

Contrary to popular opinion, the results of teeth whitening are not permanent. The results of professional whitening can last several months, years, or longer. How long your results last will depend on your dental care regimen and the type of foods and drinks you often consume. Your dentist will give you take-home treatments to maintain your results, but it’s likely you’ll need to return periodically for more professional treatments.

If you regularly consume foods and beverages notorious for staining, then your results can be very short-lived. However, if practice moderation or avoid them entirely, then your results can last for a few years.

Does Teeth Whitening Cause Enamel or Nerve Damage?

According to research, the products typically used in professional teeth whitening don’t affect the hardness or mineral composition of your enamel. Additionally, a follow-up on people who had undergone teeth whitening revealed no damage to their nerves between 4.5 and seven years later.

Will Insurance Cover My Teeth Whitening?

Unfortunately, dental insurance does not usually cover the cost of your teeth whitening. If cost is an issue, your dentist can discuss your best options.

Is Teeth Whitening Right for Me?

If you’re unhappy with your teeth color and want long-term, effective results, then you can discuss your best options with your dentist. After performing a dental examination using x-rays, your dentist can recommend the best treatment plan for you and how to best maintain your results for the long term.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about how teeth whitening can help boost your confidence, we invite you to contact our Reno office by calling or filling out our online form.

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