Tooth whitening can restore your smile to its pearly white best, but there are a few things you'll want to do to prepare for this visit. Use this guide to get ready before you head to your cosmetic dentist for a tooth whitening procedure.

Practice Your New Routine And Diet

Once your teeth have been whitened, you'll want to do your best to keep them looking great. Take some time before your appointment to cut out foods and other habits that can stain your teeth. For example, you may want to use this time to quit smoking or cut back on the amount of coffee you drink every day. Be sure to make brushing your teeth after meals part of your routine as well. If you get in the habit before your appointment, you may find that it  is easier to stick to your new diet and routine.

Be Prepared For Multiple Visits

Depending on the type of whitening your cosmetic dentist chooses and the condition of your teeth, you may need to make several appointments before achieving the desired results. Discuss this possibility with your dentist, and consider scheduling multiple visits in advance so you know exactly when you'll be seeing the dentist over the coming weeks and months.

Discuss Pain Management

While not everyone will experience pain or discomfort during a tooth whitening procedure, you may want to discuss pain management options with your dentist in advance. He or she may recommend an over-the-counter pain medication you can take after the procedure, or your dentist may offer pain management options during the treatment itself. If you experience anxiety about going to the dentist, you might want to talk about sedation dentistry options for your tooth whitening appointment as well. By discussing all of these options in advance, you can feel a bit more comfortable about your upcoming procedure.

Have Payment Secured

Your tooth whitening procedure may be covered by your dental insurance, but you might still be required to pay for a portion of the visit. Talk to someone in the dentist's billing department to see what your responsibility will be. In the event that you don't have insurance, you can ask about payment options Some dentists offer financing for cosmetic procedures, and you may also qualify for a monthly payment plan. You'll want to have the payment plan situated before you take a seat in the exam chair.

Have a list of questions ready for your dentist at your consultation, as this can help you to further prepare for your tooth whitening appointment. For more information, contact a local dentist, such as Elizabeth Loseke DDS.