Superbright Your Smile
Top Tooth Whitening Tips
By Amy Morgan
Finally, we’re gathering and catching back up with family members and old friends – maybe even attending a wedding! You want to look your best at these special events, and the first thing anyone will notice is your bright, shiny smile. The dental professionals at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics have some tooth whitening secrets to superbright your smile, whether you decide to try products at home or go all-out for an in-office brightening experience.
Destiny Willman has been a Registered Dental Assistant for six years, the past four at 7to7 Dental’s Stone Oak Office, conveniently located on the corner of Stone Oak Parkway and Evans Roads. As a dental assistant, Destiny helps the dentists with procedures like crowns, fillings, and root canals, as well as taking X-rays, preparing instruments and assisting in in-office whitening.
Destiny loves helping people transform their smiles and whiten their teeth. In her expert opinion, the whitening process offered in-office produces the most dramatic effects with the least tooth sensitivity. Destiny or one of her colleagues will take a patient’s before pictures and help select an enamel shade that most closely matches their teeth.
Next, she’ll take impressions to create trays to contain the highly concentrated, hydrogen-peroxide based solution. She’ll clean the teeth with pumice to allow the solution to penetrate the tooth’s surface, apply vitamin E oil to the lips to keep them moisturized, and place protectors in the cheeks to provide a barrier between the whitening agent and the delicate gingival tissue of the gums. Destiny also mixes the solution and the activator and loads it into the ionic whitening device, which optimizes the ingredients’ effectiveness.
Once the solution has been applied to the teeth, patients relax, listen to music on headphones, or watch the television on the ceiling. Destiny will replace the solution twice, for a total of three, 10-minute applications. Before they know it, the process is over, and patients walk out with a beautiful smile.
“I love seeing patients’ reactions – the genuine shock!” Destiny said. “They stare at the before and after pictures.” 7to7 Dental recommends scheduling a thorough cleaning and dental checkup before beginning any type of whitening program. This allows individuals to start with a clean slate and address any dental issues prior to whitening. An additional benefit, 7to7 Dental’s patients can take advantage of the practice’s Whitening for Life program. 7to7 Dental offers patients who have completed their scheduled cleaning a free syringe of 22% carbamide peroxide whitening gel every six months. The composition is stronger than what’s available over the counter, but less powerful than in-office whitening, Destiny said.
Whitening products do not change the color of crowns or fillings, so if your dental work shows prominently when you smile, you’ll want to whiten other teeth only enough to match that color. Destiny recommends brushing regularly with a good whitening toothpaste. Be careful not to be overzealous. Although enamel - the outermost layer of your teeth – is the hardest tissue of your body, once it wears away, it is gone forever.
The professionals at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics care about your oral health and are available 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., seven days a week, for dentistry for the whole family and emergencies. 7to7 Dental is a local business, grown in 14 years from the practice of one dentist and six staff. Co-Owners Tiffany Winburn, D.M.D, and Justin Coke and many of the 250 staff members live in Stone Oak with their families and are part of the community.