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Posts for tag: teeth whitening

By Brian Allen, DMD
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

How has your tooth color fared over the years? Is it less attractive than you'd like? Have stains accumulated on your front teeth? Well, you teeth whiteningcan say goodbye to stains and that overall dull look with professional teeth whitening from Osprey, FL, dentist, Dr. Sean Bates. He understands that how your smile looks is so important to your self-esteem and to the image you project to the world.

What stains teeth?

Many things do--smoking, coffee, wine, soy sauce, antihistamines. The list is long, but common to all is their affinity for tooth enamel and the plaque and tartar that stick on and between teeth. Add on the aging process and sometimes poor oral hygiene, and you have the recipe for a smile that's yellow and dingy.

How can you whiten your teeth?

There are many over the counter teeth whitening products on the market in Osprey and in other parts of the country. While many effectively treat very light stains, most do nothing for deep, long-standing stains. Plus, because they are not professional applied or supervised by your dentist, store bought products may produce:

  • Dental sensitivity
  • Gingival (gum) sensivitity
  • Incomplete results, as they cannot effectively reach stains on teeth that are crowded, rotated, or otherwise misaligned

Enter predictable and safe professional teeth whitening in Osprey, FL. Dr. Bates carefully examines the teeth and gums of his cosmetic dentistry patients to confirm they are healthy enough for the application of the powerful hydrogen peroxide gel used in whitening. If they are, Dr. Bates offers the choice of one-hour whitening in his office or take-home whitening gel applied with customized acrylic trays. Both methods brighten smiles by as many as 8 shades of color.

Keeping your smile white

After completion of professional teeth whitening, patients wonder how they can keep their smiles bright. Dr. Bates and his team give the following advice:

  • Brush twice a day, and floss every day to remove plaque and tartar that cause bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease and dull, stained enamel.
  • See Dr. Bates twice a year for oral exams and professional teeth cleaning.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. (your primary care physician will be happy to help you)
  • Get whitening touch-ups as needed.
  • Limit consumption of darkly-colored foods and beverages.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.

Whitening may be for you

The American Association of Orthodontists states that most people prefer whiter teeth to any other cosmetic improvement (including straightening their smiles). Would you like a simple and cost-effective way to enhance your smile aesthetics? Then, explore professional teeth whitening with Sean R. Bates, DDS & Associates. Call the office today for your personal consultation: (941) 966-4751.


Do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening kits are a popular option for restoring a healthy shine to stained and dulled teeth. They're relatively safe and generally live up to their packaging claims.

But a home kit might not always be your best option. Here are 4 reasons why DIY whitening might not be right for you.

You're on the early side of your teen years. Tooth whitening at home is quite popular with teenagers. For older teens it doesn't really pose a dental risk as long as you use the product appropriately (more on that in a moment). However, the immature enamel of younger teens' permanent teeth is still developing and can be vulnerable to damage by whitening processes.

You don't follow instructions well. Not to say you have this particular character quirk — but if you do you may run into trouble with DIY whitening. Home kits are safe if you follow their instructions carefully. If you use them to excess as one 13-year old boy was reported to have done, you could severely (and permanently) erode your teeth's protective enamel.

Your teeth are in need of dental work. Tooth whitening can't fix everything that may be contributing to an unattractive smile. It's always better to have issues like dental disease or chipped teeth addressed first before whitening. And, if your tooth discoloration originates from inside your tooth, a whitening kit won't help — they're only designed for staining on the enamel's outside surface. You'll need a special dental procedure to whiten internal (or intrinsic) tooth staining.

You want to control the amount of brightness. Home kits don't have the level of fine-tuning that a clinical procedure can achieve. While the bleaching agent in a professional whitening solution is much stronger than a home kit, your dentist is trained in techniques that can vary the amount of bleaching, from a softer white to dazzling “Hollywood” bright. And clinical whitening usually takes fewer sessions and may last longer than a home kit.

If you're interested in teeth whitening, see your dentist for a dental examination first before purchasing a DIY kit. Even if you decide to do it yourself, your dentist can give you buying advice for whitening kits, as well as how-to tips.

If you would like more information on tooth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”


Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”