How to Maintain Your Teeth Whitening Treatment

October 19, 2020

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — southlakedental @ 1:46 pm

Teeth whitening is one of the most requested cosmetic procedures. At Southlake Family Dentistry, we offer a few different options for whitening your teeth. We also like to inform our patients on how to keep a healthy/bright smile after treatment. Maintaining your whitening treatment and adequately caring for your teeth can be just as crucial as the whitening treatment itself.

Did you know changing a few daily habits can help your whitening treatment last longer? Here are a few techniques we recommend to maintain your bright smile. 

Stay Away from Bright or Dark Colored Food and Drinks

While this is a general rule in cosmetic dentistry for avoiding stained teeth, it is even more important to follow after your in-office whitening treatment. Foods such as soy sauce, pasta sauce, balsamic vinegar, and some fruits can stain your teeth and reverse the whitening treatment effects. We also recommend avoiding certain liquids such as coffee, red wine, dark sodas, and black tea for long-lasting whitening results. 

Use a White or Colorless Toothpaste 

Did you know many toothpaste and mouthwash brands on the market contain dyes that can stain your teeth? If you’re considering a whitening treatment we recommend switching from colored mouthwash and toothpaste to white or clear. Additionally, choosing brands that contain a whitening agent can help you maintain a bright smile. 

Daily Oral Hygiene 

If you don’t already have a solid oral hygiene routine, now is the time to adopt one. This routine should include brushing, flossing, and using a colorless mouth rinse twice daily. While this routine is great for your oral health in general, it will help maintain your whitening treatment. At Southlake Family Dentistry we want your teeth to look healthy and be healthy. Maintaining good oral hygiene will help your teeth remain strong and bright. 

Set Up Your Next Treatment 

To achieve the best results from your whitening treatment we recommend that you continue treatment about every six months. Every patient’s needs are different and depending on your oral hygiene habits you may require more or less frequent whitening treatments to achieve your desired look. 

At Southlake Family Dentistry, we want you to feel confident in your smile. If you have noticed discoloration in your teeth and desire a whiter and brighter smile, contact our office to discuss your treatment options. 

4 Cosmetic Dental Procedures to Give You a Straighter or Whiter Smile

September 15, 2020

Filed under: Blog,General — Tags: , , , , — southlakedental @ 1:34 pm

 At our dental office, not only do we care about your overall oral health, but we also care how you feel about your teeth cosmetically. With the holiday season quickly approaching, many individuals consider options to whiten and/or straighten their smile before gatherings and family photos. If you’re interested in enhancing your smile, various dental procedures allow you to safely and effectively achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming of. Here are a few options that we offer at our office: 

1. Whitening – Teeth whitening is one of the most commonly requested dental procedures. Did you know you can safely whiten your teeth at home using custom trays made at our office? In most cases, a visit for whitening tray impressions takes less than 30 minutes. Your custom trays will be made in our onsite dental lab and are available for you to pick up by the following business day. 

Our dentists recommend ways to prevent teeth staining and discoloration, but daily habits such as drinking coffee and tea and the use of tobacco products can contribute to unwanted staining. While some toothpaste, mouthwash, and drugstore products can whiten teeth, the best results come from your dentist. Along with your custom whitening trays, you’ll receive a whitening gel that you place in the trays and wear on your teeth daily for a short period of time to gradually whiten your teeth. 

If you’re interested in a quick whitening tray option, we also carry Opalescence teeth whitening trays at our office. These one-size-fits-all whitening trays are “grab and go” so you can pick one up at your next appointment. 

 Whitening trays have proven to be an effective way to whiten and brighten your smile. Our patients are extremely pleased with the results. Give us a call if you’d like more information or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

2. Bonding – If you’re interested in restoring a cracked, chipped or discolored tooth, a cosmetic procedure such as tooth bonding can give you the results you want. Bonding is a method that corrects the shape or the shade of your teeth. It can also close small spaces, black triangles in between teeth or increase the size of a tooth to achieve a more symmetrical smile. 

The procedure can often be done without anesthetic and completed in one visit. Our dentists simply apply a tooth-colored composite resin to one or more of your teeth to repair damage. This whitening method is seen as a cost effective solution as it’s less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures such as crowns and veneers. The best part: the results are instant! 

Bonding is especially great for fixing any imperfections in your teeth and restoring confidence in your smile. 

3. Veneers – Out of all the cosmetic teeth solutions, dental veneers achieve the most aesthetic results. Veneers are a thin porcelain covering that’s placed over your teeth. Many patients choose to have veneers placed on one or more teeth to achieve their desired smiles.  

You can pick out the shade of the synthetic teeth covering, creating a white and bright smile. We can change the shape, length, or size of your teeth using veneers. Veneers are applied to the part of the teeth that shows when talking or smiling. That means we remove less tooth material, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable than crowns

If you choose to have a veneer placed on a single tooth, the shape of the veneer can be specifically made to fit that one tooth and create a natural look that blends in with surrounding teeth. Veneer placement is generally painless but requires two or more visits. Veneers do not stain and years after they still maintain the same shade and esthetics.  

4. Invisalign – Clear aligners are the most popular way to correct a smile these days — especially adults who do not want a “metal mouth.” 

Many people who formerly wore braces choose Invisalign orthodontic treatment as the discrete solution to correct any relapses. Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners/clear trays that gradually straighten your teeth. There are no brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.

Even if your teeth are slightly misaligned, it can affect your overall oral health. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean, which puts you at risk of decay and periodontal disease, and can cause jaw pain. Depending on the complexity of your case, you could complete your treatment in as few as six months. 

Most patients will start seeing results in a matter of weeks. Our doctors will ensure your aligners fit well, answer your questions, and let you know what to expect.

If you have questions about any of these ways to get a straighter or whiter smile, give us a call today.

Which Teeth Whitening Option Will Work for Me?

July 22, 2020

Filed under: Blog,General — Tags: , , , , — southlakedental @ 4:31 pm

Teeth whitening is a popular dental procedure here in Fort Mill and beyond. Most people want their teeth to appear white and bright. Studies show that people feel more confident when they have white teeth. You may feel compelled to whiten your teeth for professional interactions. 

Even with perfect at-home brushing and flossing, your teeth can become yellowish or stained due to medications, age, food and drink, and tobacco use. No matter the cause, there is a solution for whiter teeth. However, there are so many options both over-the-counter and through your dentist. How do you know which ones actually work? 

Don’t get stuck with teeth whitening gimmicks. There are tons of teeth whitening options, and here is what to know about them: 

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are easy to find over-the-counter at drug and retail stores, and they are relatively cheap. The strips are also reasonably easy to use. The strips come in sections for your top and bottom teeth, and you place and adapt them on. After waiting for the directed amount of time, you can take them off and rinse your mouth. When used over time, at-home whitening strips will make your teeth somewhat whiter. However, the results take time, and you’ll only get a few shades of whitening. Many people also struggle with the strips because the gel doesn’t taste good and can cause teeth or gum sensitivity. Also, user error prevents from achieving desirable results. Sitting there with strips on may feel uncomfortable. 

Keep in mind, tooth whitening products sold at stores do not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration because they are considered cosmetic. Only one type of whitening strip has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association

Please note that most whitening products are not suitable for children. Check with your child’s dentist before applying whitening products. 

Whitening Toothpaste or Mouthwash

Another low-cost method to whiten your smile is toothpaste or mouthwash that contain whitening agents. Again, these are an easy choice for many because they are easy to find and don’t cost much more than regular toothpaste or mouthwash. 

The great thing about whitening toothpaste and mouthwash is that each can be used in combination with other whitening treatments. This is an easy and affordable way to help achieve white teeth, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work alone. To obtain the whitest teeth possible, you will need to add another whitening method to your regime. These methods will also only get you a few shades brighter. However, this is a wonderful place to start if you are on a budget and can wait for gradual results.  

Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels 

Whitening trays and gels are a great way to whiten your teeth while at home. To use, fill the trays with the provided bleaching product and wear them for either a few hours or overnight, then brush the product away. Many Fort Mill dentists, including Southlake Family Dentistry, offer these trays. Please make an appointment to come to the office to custom fit your trays for the maximum comfort possible. We can then select the right level of bleaching for your teeth and goals. These take-home whitening kits cost a little more than over-the-counter strips but are convenient and cheaper than in-office bleaching. The results are more dramatic and take less time to achieve.  Also, these trays can be used for future touch-ups as needed.

In-Office Bleaching 

Visiting the office for a bleaching treatment is the quickest and most effective way to achieve those pearly whites. During your visit, we can apply a whitening solution directly to your teeth. Your treatment will last 60 to 90 minutes. You can then go about your day, but you should avoid coffee, tomato sauce, yellow mustard, and red wine. This treatment is preferred by many because of its immediate results and effectiveness. However, in-office bleaching is the most expensive of all these methods, so contact us today to discuss pricing and payment options.  

Now that you know all of the teeth whitening options we recommend, it should be much easier to choose which one will be best for you and your teeth. If you are interested in teeth whitening trays and gels or in-office bleaching, please contact us to set up an office visit. We can’t wait to see you and your bright smile! 

Get Your Healthy Smile Ready for Spring

April 1, 2018

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: , , , — southlakedental @ 3:43 pm

With spring and summer on their way, lots of warm-weather events will be coming up. These might include prom, graduation from high school or college (your own or your child’s), family reunions, and weddings. It’s natural to want to look your best, so now is the time to get your healthy smile ready for these events! Check out a few ways to boost your self-esteem and feel more comfortable with your smile.

Teeth Whitening

If you are hesitant to smile for photos because you don’t think your teeth are as white as they could be, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening. There are many products on the market that you can use to make your teeth whiter and brighter, ranging from whitening toothpastes to gels, strips, and bleaching trays. Most are available over the counter and others are available from your dentist. Give the office a call to ask about what we have available and what we recommend.

Braces for Adults

Many adults wish that they had had orthodontic treatment as pre-teens or teens, but it’s not too late. There are several options that adults might prefer; instead of metal braces, many people choose ceramic braces, lingual braces, or Invisalign. Your dentist might fabricate braces or they might refer you to an orthodontist. If you are concerned about how your teeth fit together, be sure to ask about the options available.


Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that fit over the front teeth to reduce spacing and eliminate minor imperfections. These can make you feel better about your smile. Veneers are a permanent dental appliance, so it’s important to be sure that they’re right for you. Your dentist will help you make that decision.

As always, brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist every six months will also help you keeping your healthy smile looking great. Give our office to schedule an appointment if you are overdue.

What You Should Know About Teeth Whitening

April 30, 2017

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,General — Tags: , , — southlakedental @ 7:48 pm

Are you happy with your smile? Many patients wish their teeth could be straighter, more uniform, or whiter. Of the three common complaints, the color of your teeth is generally the simplest fix. There are several different types of teeth whitening that you might consider in your quest to achieve a lighter, brighter smile. It’s always best to talk to your dentist first, because he or she can advise you based on your own specific circumstances.

Over the Counter Teeth Whitening Products

Walk down any pharmacy’s tooth care aisle and you’re bound to see several types of whitening products. These range from whitening toothpastes to whitening gels to bleaching trays. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to use in the convenience of your own home. Win win, right?

While these are good for many people who want to achieve a bit of whitening, they won’t be able to take care of deep staining or heavy discoloration. Also, these products sometimes cause some sensitivity or gum irritation. If these occur, stop using them and contact your dentist.

Custom Bleaching Trays

Your dentist can take impressions of your teeth and have a lab fabricate custom bleaching trays for you. You’d put bleaching solution in the trays and apply them for the time and frequency recommended by your dentist. Since the dentist will choose the type of bleaching solution that is right for your level of staining and your specific situation, you should see the results that your dentist tells you to expect. These can also cause some sensitivity and gum irritation. Because the trays fit your teeth perfectly, however, the solution is less likely to get onto your gums to cause a problem.

Internal Tooth Bleaching

If you have had a root canal treatment on one of your front teeth, you might notice that it is darker than the other teeth in the area. This can sometimes be remedied by having your dentist remove a bit of the root canal filling and bleaching out the crown part of the tooth. This has to be done in-office and involves the use of an ultraviolet light or a laser. Talk to your dentist about whether this is an option for you.

No matter what type of teeth whitening you are using, be sure to avoid foods and beverages that are likely to stain your teeth during the treatment. This means that you should not be drinking large amounts of coffee, black tea or red wine, and you also should not enjoy a slice of blueberry pie right after removing your bleaching trays. Keep up with your oral hygiene regimen by brushing and flossing regularly, and be sure to see your dentist twice per year (or more frequently if you have any problems) so he or she can monitor your progress.

Creative Commons image by Luciane Lazzaris