Patients who need to see a cosmetic dentist for teeth straightening have multiple options to choose from. Clear aligners have become a popular option due to the numerous benefits the aligners provide to patients. Clear aligners, which are transparent plastic trays that are used to move teeth into a new position by exerting gentle pressure,…
Should I Have My Teeth Cleaned Before Professional Teeth Whitening?
Professional teeth whitening is the way to go if you want to have a set of white, beautiful teeth. While you are considering the procedure or preparing for your appointment, you may be wondering if you need to get your teeth cleaned before whitening. Cleaning your teeth ahead of a whitening treatment helps to augment the results of the procedure and maximize the benefits.
Why dental cleaning is important
The following are reasons why dental professionals recommend dental cleaning before professional teeth whitening:
Remove food particles from the mouth
Professional cleaning before whitening the teeth helps to remove food debris lodged around the teeth and crevices of the oral cavity, which may block the whitening agent from reaching everywhere. Cleaning will make it easier to whiten every surface of the teeth.
Remove plaque buildup
Patients can remove some food particles and debris by brushing their teeth before their next teeth cleaning appointment. However, accumulated plaque and tartar do not come off easily. Tooth cleaning before whitening helps to remove tartar from the teeth to make the whitening more effective.
Plaque and tartar are identifiable on the teeth as white or yellow patches on and around the teeth. Plaque sticks to the enamel, and over time, if it is not cleaned off, it will discolor the teeth and cause bad breath. During a dental cleaning, the dentist will carefully scrape the plaque and tartar off. For those who like home remedies, fluoride toothpaste and baking soda can stop the buildup of plaque over the teeth. Still, the dentist will perform a cleaning during the teeth whitening appointment or routine checkups.
Remove certain tooth stains
Surface stains from eating colored foods must be cleaned off before teeth whitening. Spot cleaning of the stained area will ensure the effects of professional teeth whitening last longer. Dental professionals generally advise patients to visit their dentist before a whitening appointment for a checkup and stain removal.
Detect a tooth cavity or decay
During the cleaning appointment, the dentist will examine the patient’s teeth for signs of common dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay or infection. They will check the teeth surfaces with specialized tools to ensure there is no existing condition that may nullify the effects of the entire whitening treatment. If the patient has tooth cavities or gum disease, they have to be treated first before the whitening process starts.
Also, existing dental restorations such as fillings, veneers and crowns will be checked to ensure they will not be affected by the process and ensure uniformity.
Undergoing teeth cleaning from the dentist enhances the results of professional teeth whitening. Plaque, tartar and other food debris may prevent uniform whitening of the teeth and cause uneven coloration. Also, teeth whitening can help reduce gum inflammation. If you undergo teeth whitening when the gums are inflamed, it may be harder to correct yellowing near the gum tissues. To get your teeth cleaned ahead of your whitening appointment, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment.
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