It’s been a long time coming – the day has finally arrived that you get your braces off! After your orthodontist in Highland Park removes the wires and brackets, you can’t help but smile at how straight your teeth are now. However, you still see some work to be done – your teeth are uneven in color due to the areas that were covered by your brackets. As you consider your next move, here are some things to know about teeth whitening after braces.
How Long Should I Wait for Teeth Whitening After My Braces Come off?
When your braces are removed, it’s not unusual to feel some sensitivity or weakness for some time afterward. Because of this, most orthodontists recommend waiting at least six months before whitening your teeth. It will give them enough time to regain their strength and adjust to life without braces.
Also, it may surprise you to learn that saliva can naturally help minimize the intensity of discoloration over time. Exercising patience before making a move on teeth whitening treatment is a wise decision.
How Do I Whiten My Teeth After Having Braces?
If you have waited at least six months but still want to pursue whitening, you do have several ways to achieve it:
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
When you look for teeth whitening options at the pharmacy or grocery store, it may surprise you just how many different brands of products boast various claims about how great your smile will look. Types of whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening pens – how can you choose? The good news is most of these products are safe if you follow the directions properly. The bad news is the weaker strength of their whitening agents means it will take you longer to see results and you may not get a significant improvement.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Most dental offices offer take-home bleaching kits as a more convenient alternative to in-office treatment. You are supplied with custom-made trays and a high-quality bleaching gel. You will place the whitening gel inside the trays and put them on your teeth to whiten them. The gel needs to be applied for about 30 minutes per day and, while it isn’t the quick solution of the option discussed below, it is a great choice for patients with sensitive teeth or gums.
In-Office Professional Whitening Treatment
When you are open to spending a bit more for the best possible result, there’s nothing as effective as in-office whitening. How effective? Try up to 10 shades whiter in one hour! Professional-strength whitening gel combines with an activation light to accelerate the chemical teeth whitening process. Every 20 minutes, the staff checks your progress on the way to your desired result.
If you want to learn more about teeth whitening after braces, contact your orthodontist in Highland Park. They will provide the advice you need to achieve a smile worth flashing!
About the Author
Dr. Jessica Cohen earned her dental doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and her Certificate of Orthodontics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists. If you haven’t begun treatment with braces yet, Dr. Cohen offers metal braces and clear braces, as well as Invisalign. Schedule a consultation on her website or call (224) 427-6800.