Options for Whitening Your Teeth

Having white teeth can boost your confidence and can also improve the impression you have on others since your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. There are many options for whitening your teeth, so it can be confusing to determine which is best for you. Some of these choices are better than others, and it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of each when making a decision. Our dentist in Oro Valley shares these ways to whiten your smile:

Over-the-Counter Whitening

Over-the-counter whitening products, such as toothpastes and whitening strips, are often the first option that comes to mind for brightening your smile. However, they are generally only able to remove minor surface-level stains and the results do not last as long as professional whitening. They can also worsen issues like sensitivity or damage your gums if you use them improperly.

There’s not necessarily anything wrong with trying an over-the-counter option at first to see if you get the results you’d like, but keep in mind that you may not be satisfied with the level of whitening. You should also talk to your dentist first, especially if you have sensitive teeth, dental restorations, or very dark teeth.

Professional Whitening

Dentist-supervised whitening involves stronger products than what is available over the counter, which often allows you to achieve more noticeable results.

Our dentist in Oro Valley offers three options depending on your needs:

  • In-Office Whitening: If you need fast results for a big event, we can brighten your teeth by six to eight shades within as little as two visits to our office. This option uses our strongest whitening gel and we pair it with fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
  • Custom Take-Home Whitening Trays: Our custom teeth whitening trays are molded to your smile to protect your gums during the whitening process. This allows you to complete the whitening process at home.
  • Ready-to-Use Kits: You can take home these whitening kits right away to start brightening your smile. While they aren’t custom-fit, they are still safe and effective.

Veneers or Bonding

In some cases, another cosmetic dental treatment may be a better fit than whitening in order to brighten your smile. This is often the case if you have very dark teeth, teeth with exposed dentin (the yellow layer under the enamel), or just one or a few teeth that are darker than the others.

Veneers are a great option to transform your smile and can address stained or discolored teeth in addition to other cosmetic concerns.

Dental bonding is another potential procedure. This works well if you have a small number of stained discolored teeth that stand out from the rest of your smile. 

Cosmetic Dentistry By our dentist in Oro Valley, AZ

If you want to transform your smile, we can help. Our dentist in Oro Valley is happy to discuss your options with you to help you determine what will be best for your needs and aesthetic goals. We offer teeth whitening as well as other cosmetic and restorative treatments.

To learn more about how we can whiten your teeth, contact us today.

Snoring vs Sleep Apnea

Many people assume that all snoring is due to sleep apnea and that all sleep apnea involves snoring. This is some truth to this correlation given that snoring is one of the major symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is also among the most noticeable. However, not everyone who snores has OSA, and not everyone with this condition snores.

More information about snoring vs sleep apnea:

What is Snoring?

Snoring is a harsh sound that occurs during sleep when air flows past tissues within the throat, causing them to vibrate. It is fairly common and most individuals snore occasionally. When snoring is occurring every night or is a nuisance to anyone sleeping in the same room, it can be a more serious issue. Snoring can be a symptom of OSA, but it is not a medical condition in and of itself.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing periodically while asleep. This results in waking up throughout the night, which leads to fatigue during the day. When left untreated, sleep apnea can have a variety of consequences including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Snoring Without Sleep Apnea

Snoring that isn’t caused by sleep apnea is known as primary snoring. This can develop due to older age, which results in more relaxed throat muscles. Sleeping on your back can also increase the possibility of snoring. Snoring indicates a blockage in the upper airway and only a medical professional can determine if this is due to sleep apnea or if it is happening for another reason.

Sleep Apnea Without Snoring

Just like you can snore without having sleep apnea, you can also have sleep apnea without snoring. In these cases, patients still wake up and gasp for air during the night, but do not snore consistently enough for others to notice. In this case, patients may still notice other symptoms of sleep apnea.

What To Do If You Think You Have Sleep Apnea

While snoring is not always associated with sleep apnea, it is a frequent indicator of the condition. This means that if you are snoring or have any other symptoms, you should consider undergoing a sleep study to determine if sleep apnea is the cause.

Some signs that snoring is associated with sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring very loudly
  • Gasping for air or choking
  • Pausing breathing for ten seconds or longer

Non-snoring related symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day

How We Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea and dentistry may not seem related at first, but dentists like Dr. Atty Smith are often able to catch early signs of sleep apnea and refer patients to medical professionals who can confirm this diagnosis. We are proud to offer a cutting-edge treatment for sleep apnea: the Vivos System. This is a custom oral appliance that actually corrects the issues that lead to sleep apnea, and most patients require no further intervention after they complete treatment.

To learn more about how we can treat your sleep apnea, contact us today.