Dental Tips Blog

Sep
28

Is Smile Whitening Worth It?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Why do so many dental offices and oral health manufacturers market teeth whitening products to the public? Is it something that really makes a difference, or is it just an opportune way for someone to make a few extra dollars? The truth is, whitening is one of the fastest, easiest, most natural ways to transform how your smile looks; but not every type of tooth whitening treatment is created equal. 

Our smiles naturally begin to darken and have more stain accumulation as time goes by. This stain isn’t just on the outside of the tooth, but deep inside of the enamel as the tooth soaks up the stain on a day-by-day basis. Gradually this stain becomes so that our smiles look older. To restore brightness and a youthful appearance, these deep-set stains can be removed with an effective whitening treatment. People who whiten their smiles are often happier, more outgoing, and have better self-confidence around other people. In turn, others think they’re friendlier, and a better first impression is set when it matters the most. 

Professional teeth whitening is much more effective than over the counter whitening, because it is administered in a professional dental setting. The concentrations of whitening gel are higher and the product is safer to use because of custom-fitted trays or professional application. For in-office whitening, patients receive instant results in just an hour-long appointment. Take-home whitening trays produce the same results in just one to two weeks by wearing the custom-fitted trays for one hour each day. 

Which type of whitening is best for you? The types and amount of stains have a lot to do with the selection your dentist will recommend! Contact your dental care provider for a whitening consult today.

Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists

Aug
27

Safe Teeth Whitening

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening has become one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures due to the relatively low cost and high rate of effectiveness.  If you are interested in improving your smile by whitening your teeth, you should know that done properly, teeth whitening (also called teeth bleaching) has proven to be a safe and effective method of making yellowed, discolored teeth several shades whiter.

However, as with almost any procedure, there are a few potential side effects and a small minority of patients have not had a good teeth whitening experience.  One of the most common side effects is increased tooth sensitivity.  Some patients experience heightened tooth sensitivity to hot or cold.  For most, the issue resolves in a day or two. If the sensitivity does not go away within a few days of the teeth whitening treatment, you should consult with your dentist.  There several options for addressing the issue including fluoride treatments, de-sensitizing toothpastes.

In addition, some patients report sore, painful, and swollen lips, gums, tongue, and other soft tissue.  This is usually the result of failing to adequately protect these areas from the tooth whitening agent.  See your dentist if the problem persists.

Teeth whitening products are available over the counter, by prescription, or applied in your dentist’s office.  For the most effective treatment with the lowest chance for side effects, have your teeth whitening done by your dentist.

Even if you choose to save money by using an over the counter teeth whitening product, see your dentist before you start.  The peroxide in most teeth whitening products can cause some discomfort if you are suffering from gum disease or have other oral health issues and it’s best to get these resolved before having your teeth whitened.

If your are pregnant or nursing, be sure to talk to your dentist about the possible health effects of  teeth whitening.  Nursing or pregnant women may want to avoid teeth whitening out of an abundance of caution.

Blog post provided by Marietta Dentists.

Jul
20

Know Before You Go – Teeth Whitening

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures today and for good reason.  For millions of Americans, teeth whitening has proven to be a safe and effective cosmetic dental procedure that dramatically improves and brightens the patient’s smile. Great results can be achieved in a single visit to the dentist.  The procedure takes less than an hour, it is comfortable and painless, and is relatively inexpensive.

With all the benefits of teeth whitening, what’s not to like?  Well, like most things in life, there are a few drawbacks and things you should know before getting your teeth whitened.  First, although the vast majority of patients experience few if any side effects, there have been some reports of gum and/or lip irritation from the whitening agent.

One advantage to having professional teeth whitening done at your dentist instead of doing it yourself is that your dentist can better protect your gums and lips.  If you are doing it yourself with an over-the counter kit, be careful avoid getting the whitening gel on your lips and gums.

Another problem reported by some patients is increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.  This usually goes away in a few days but can persist in a small number of patients.  Consult your dentist if teeth whitening sensitivity persists.

The agent used to whiten teeth only works on natural tooth enamel.  It will not change the color of any tooth colored dental restorations such as caps, composite (tooth colored) fillings, or dental bonding.  If you have any of these restorations, talk to your dentist about a comprehensive plan for teeth whitening.

Finally, the whitening effect lasts a long time, but it is usually not permanent.  You may need a touch up after six months to a year.  Good oral hygiene habits and avoiding coffee, tea, and colored soft drinks will help your teeth stay whiter and brighter.

Jun
15

Is Teeth Whitening For You?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

The allure of a whiter, brighter smile in just  a few hours has made teeth whitening (also called teeth bleaching) a very popular cosmetic dentistry procedure.  By some estimates, about 15% of the population has had a teeth whitening procedure done either in a dentist’s office or using a home teeth whitening kit.  Before you jump on the teeth whitening bandwagon, be sure you understand how the procedure works, what your options are, and any possible side effects.

Teeth whitening procedures use a gel with some type of peroxide to remove stains and bleach teeth to a whiter color.  The gel is applied directly to the teeth or by using a plastic “tray” that holds the gel up against the patients teeth.  The longer the gel is in contact with the patient’s teeth, the more effective the whitening process will be.  However, the concentration of the peroxide in the gel varies and the higher the concentration of peroxide, the less time the gel can safely remain on your teeth.

Teeth whitening can be done in dentist’s office, using a kit dispensed by your dentist, or by using a kit that can be purchased over the counter.  Treatment in a dental office is the most expensive option, but also the fastest acting and most effective.

A kit dispensed by your dentists is also a very effective teeth whitening alternative.  These kits have custom made plastic trays to hold the whitening agent against the teeth.  They have a lower concentration of peroxide, but can remain on the teeth for  longer period of time.

Over the counter kits are the least expensive option, and also the least effective. The trays are “one-size-fits-all” so there may be an uneven application of whitening agent.  Also, these kits have the lowest level of peroxide so more and longer applications may be needed to achieve the desired results.

Possible side effects of teeth whitening include increased tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, irritation of the gums, and uneven whitening.  If you have tooth colored restorations such as caps, crowns, bonding, and fillings, the bleaching agent will not affect these and they may look yellow compared to your natural tooth enamel.

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