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teeth whitening

Teeth Whitening vs. Teeth Cleaning: What’s The Difference?

Do you want to improve how your smile looks? Teeth whitening is a dental service that can brighten your teeth up to several shades. Not only does it whiten teeth, it helps your self-esteem when you achieve your dream smile.

While a teeth cleaning can remove surface stains, teeth whitening is a more dramatic processthat involves a professional-strength gel that reaches beneath the surface to remove deep tooth stains.

Read on to learn more about the difference between teeth cleaning and teeth whitening.

What To Expect With A Teeth Cleaning

Teeth cleaning services are customized for each patient. These services not only improve your oral health, but also how your smile looks. They focus on perfecting your at-home oral hygiene routine to keep tooth decay and gum disease away. Regular dental cleanings are an important component of good oral health.

While brushing and flossing are important, they are just the beginning of a good oral hygiene routine. Professional teeth cleanings by a dental hygienist help to ensure your teeth and gums are always looking and feeling their best.

Even the best brushes and flossers can miss hard-to-reach places where plaque and tartar can accumulate. A professional cleaning removes leftover food particles and plaque to stop the progression of oral health issues like gum disease.

Benefits Of Regular Teeth Cleanings

Professional teeth cleaning uses special tools and techniques to remove surface stains on the teeth and along the gumline. This helps to prevent cavities and gum disease but also reduces your risk of developing other oral health conditions like heart disease that are directly linked to poor oral hygiene.

It is recommended that patients have biannual teeth cleanings. However, those with poor oral health or gum disease may be recommended to have more frequent ones.

​​​​Some other benefits of getting a teeth cleaning include:

Gum Disease Prevention

Plaque buildup can harden into tartar, which regular brushing cannot remove on its own. When left on the teeth or along the gumline, inflamed gums may occur: one of the first signs of gum disease. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to more advanced gum disease stages, which can lead to missing teeth and a deteriorated jawbone.

Fresh Breath

Unclean mouths have bacteria that can lead to ongoing bad breath. A professional cleaning helps remove this bacteria to make your breath fresh again.

Stain Removal

Surface stains can be treated during a teeth cleaning. For deeper stains, teeth whitening is a better option.

What To Expect With Teeth Whitening

When you’re looking for a brighter, whiter smile, teeth whitening is a great solution. In just one hour your teeth can be safely whitened.

Teeth whitening can remove stains from tobacco, soda, wine, coffee, tea, and normal aging. During a consultation, a dentist can discuss the types of teeth whitening available and determine if you’re the proper candidate for this cosmetic dentistry service.

Types Of Teeth Whitening

At Eriks Dental, we offer Zoom® and Brite Smile® as well as at-home teeth whitening solutions. Our in-office teeth whitening takes just one hour and uses a liquid gel that is applied to the teeth. A high-powered light accelerates the process for immediate results.

There is no downtime, and minimal sensitivity may occur after your treatment. Some people may also ask for trays to use at home to whiten their teeth periodically. These custom plastic trays will be made to fit snugly over your teeth.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Teeth Whitening?

Patients with certain conditions may not be eligible for teeth whitening services. These conditions may include

  • Teeth that have had a root canal: These teeth may darken over time. Many have crowns on them, which will not whiten.
  • Discolored dental work: Fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers, or partial dentures cannot be treated with teeth whitening services.
  • Those pregnant or lactating: It isn’t recommended to have teeth whitening during these times.

While results will vary from patient to patient, a cosmetic dentist will be able to determine whether teeth whitening is a viable option for you.

How Long Will Teeth Whitening Results Last?

teeth whitening

After teeth whitening, you will want to know how to best maintain your results. The best way to avoid stains is to limit the consumption of soda, coffee, tea, and other colored beverages as much as possible: especially in the first three weeks. When you avoid stain-causing substances, your smile will remain whiter longer.

Will Insurance Cover My Teeth Whitening?

Because teeth whitening is considered cosmetic, most insurance policies won’t cover it. Typically, dental insurance covers medically necessary procedures.

Will Teeth Whitening Make My Teeth Extra Sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening. This sensation is temporary and usually subsides within one day. If the sensitvity persists after three days following treatment, call your dentist.

Using a desensitizing toothpaste for the weeks leading up to your whitening can help . After whitening your teeth, continue to use it to help your teeth adjust to the use of the professional-grade gel.

Teeth Cleaning And Teeth Whitening In South Florida

Teeth Whitening

If you’re unsure of which dental service will benefit you most, schedule a consultation at Eriks Dental in Boynton Beach, Florida. Our general dentist can perform a thorough evaluation and dental exam to give professional treatment recommendations. He can answer any of your questions about each of the services to help you make an informed decision.

Ultimately, more important than a white smile is a healthy one. Maintaining your teeth and gums with regular dental cleanings is important. To schedule this important visit, call our dental office at 561-733-4004.