26 West Portal Ave., Suite #4, San Francisco, CA 94127 |
Dr. Terri M. Nguyen
Dr. Laura T. Huynh

What teeth whitening mistakes do San Francisco patients make with over-the-counter products?

Prevent teeth whitening mistakes by visiting expert dentist in San Francisco

Patients who notice their teeth getting stained or dingy may consider the advantages of teeth whitening solutions. However, not all tooth whitening options are created equal. Additionally, over-the-counter products not done correctly can result in concerns such as poor results or burning of the soft tissues. Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura Huynh, dentists at West Portal Family Dentistry, encourage patients to learn how to avoid common mistakes when attempting to whiten the smile.

  • Visit the dentist. Before going forward with over-the-counter whitening products, it is still important to schedule a visit with your dental team. Your dentist can assess your smile and ensure it is free from periodontal disease, plaque, and tartar, which may impact the results of your treatment. They can also recommend specific products to use for the best results, if patients are choosing to move ahead with over-the-counter options.
  • Try preventative techniques first. This means taking diligent care of the smile by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding tooth-staining foods and beverages. Bad habits such as smoking cigarettes can stain the smile, making it harder to keep it whiter and brighter.
  • Follow the instructions. Because whitening products can have ingredients that can make the soft tissues sensitive, it is important to follow the instructions to ensure the best results and to make sure it is performed safely.
  • Choose foods carefully. After whitening the smile, patients should take great care in avoiding staining foods and beverages, which could ruin the results quickly.
  • Don’t whiten with restorations in place. Patients should realize that when they whiten their smile with products either over-the-counter or at the dental office, they cannot whiten restorations. This includes dental crowns, bridges, and porcelain veneers. If any of these are in the smile when the whitening procedure is performed, it can make them stand out after the natural teeth become brighter. Patients serious about whitening their smile permanently are urged to consider replacing these restorations to match the color of their new smile.
  • Don’t whiten too much. While we all want a more beautiful smile, it is important to consider the negative effects of whitening too much. By not following the instructions of over-the-counter whitening products, or even dentist-provided whitening trays, patients may be putting their smile at risk. Over-whitening can result in extremely sensitive teeth and damage to the enamel.
  • Consider professional treatments. Things can go wrong with over-the-counter whitening products, so many of our patients consider the advantages of working with a professional dental team to enjoy professional whitening. This is a smart choice because the treatment is monitored by an experienced dentist who can ensure it is done safely and correctly. Additionally, the professional whitening products and services are more concentrated than those treatments available over-the-counter, resulting in brighter, whiter smiles in a shorter period and under the guidance of dental staff.
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What professional whitening services are available at West Portal Family Dentistry?

before and after teeth whitening When patients in the San Francisco, CA area decide to move forward with professional teeth whitening solutions at West Portal Family Dentistry, they are encouraged to learn more about the KöR whitening system. This is a combination of in-office power bleaching and take-home trays to achieve optimum results. Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura Huynh walk patients through the process, which can take several weeks, but patients find that the investment in their smile’s appearance can last a long time! Whitening with a dental professional is safe and effective at addressing staining including intrinsic and extrinsic discoloration.

Schedule a visit with our staff today!

If you are a patient in the San Francisco, CA area who wants to ensure they achieve a healthy, beautiful smile with teeth whitening, we encourage you to book an appointment at West Portal Family Dentistry to learn about the professional methods available. We are conveniently located at 26 West Portal Avenue in Suite 4 and can be reached by phone at (415) 661-7779. Contact us today to learn more about caring for and enhancing your smile – for life!

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