• Teeth Whitening

    Teeth Whitening

    What does teeth whitening really mean?  This term has been defined by the dental community to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  Whitening implies just what it states, which is that your teeth will appear whiter.  This can be achieved by either removing stains on the surface of the teeth without bleach or by bleaching the teeth, which changes the natural color.  Our dental office can help you with the bleaching process to achieve many shades of whitening for your smile.

    Peroxide-containing bleach products break down into hydrogen peroxide and urea.  Hydrogen peroxide is the active bleaching agent.  When performing this type of bleaching at home with over-the-counter products, you may experience an irritation of the gums and soft tissue in the mouth.  Most of these side effects are temporary and stop once treatment stops.  However, if you decide you want to visit with one of our dentists, they can professionally apply bleaching products of higher strengths that generally work much better.

    Professionally applied bleaching products used by our dental office use hydrogen peroxide in concentrations from 25 to 40% and can be used in conjunction with a laser or light.  Lasers and light are used to accelerate and activate the whitening process.  Most gum tissues are protected prior to starting the bleaching process to keep them from becoming irritated.  The teeth will be given a prophylactic cleaning prior to beginning the whitening process to remove debris and plaque from the surfaces of and in between teeth.  This procedure usually takes an hour to complete in our office.

    The process of teeth whitening is safe.  There have been several long-term research studies that have determined that teeth bleaching and other whitening methods are safe and effective.  There are no adverse effects that result in problems for the teeth or the gums in the long-term.  The bleaching gels have improved over time and become buffered to decrease sensitivity.  There are also desensitizers like potassium nitrate and fluoride that can help improve any sensitivity you may feel.

    Teeth whitening is not for everyone, if you are breast-feeding, pregnant, have tooth colored crowns or dental work in your front teeth, or have gum disease and teeth with worn enamel; teeth whitening through bleaching may not be the best option for you and your teeth.

    With all the advances in technology, the process of teeth whitening is fairly standard.  The professional bleaching process can give you several shades of whitening and rarely cause any problems other than teeth sensitivity for a few days during the treatment.  This process is known to activate even faster with laser or light and can whiten more effectively, which is why our dental office is the best option for your teeth whitening needs.   The overall process does not take long and can be used when needed and we will recommend at home methods that should also be performed regularly to keep stains from forming.  Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to maintain your smile in all of its glory.

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