Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

4 Reasons to See Your Dentist Before Using Whitening Strips

There are plenty of options available for people who want to brighten their teeth, including whitening strips. These can be picked up without a prescription and applied at home in order to whiten your teeth. However, it's still worth seeing your dentist before using whitening strips, and here are just four reasons why.

1. Remove Surface Stains and Tartar

The whitening agents used in whitening strips can provide good results, but they need to be able to reach the surface of the teeth themselves. Unfortunately, surface stains can build up across your teeth naturally as you eat and drink. If you don't brush regularly or miss certain parts of your mouth, plaque can also harden into tartar. Surface stains and tartar really need to be removed by a dentist, and this should significantly improve the impact of whitening strips since they will be in full contact with your tooth enamel.

2. Manage Your Expectations

One of the problems with using any over-the-counter whitening product is that it can be tough to know exactly how your teeth are going to look once the treatment has finished. However, your dentist can help by reviewing available options, inspecting your teeth, and providing an idea of just how much whiter you can expect your teeth to become. This can help avoid disappointment. Additionally, you'll be less likely to overuse whitening strips in the hope of getting better results if you already understand what they can accomplish.

3. Prevent Complications

The whitening agents used in whitening strips are not as strong as those used by your dentist, but they can still irritate your gums and increase oral sensitivity if used incorrectly. It can also be tough to apply them in a way that properly covers the surface of each tooth, which can mean getting uneven results. However, your dentist will be able to show you exactly how to apply whitening strips to help avoid any such issues.

4. Recommend Other Treatments

Many people are attracted to whitening strips because of their relatively low cost, but they aren't the most effective treatment option. After inspecting your teeth and talking through your goals, your dentist may be able to recommend other treatments that will provide better results. They can also recommend whitening products that can be used to complement whitening strips. Even if you don't opt for another type of whitening treatment, it's smart to find out what's available before starting with whitening strips.

For more information on teeth whitening, contact a professional near you.