I’m going to start my blog by thanking Erica Jackson and everyone who has taken the time to read this blog. My goal is to provide general dental information on a monthly basis covering topics that I am being asked by patients in my practice. Hopefully this information can help guide you as you make informed choices about your own dental health. Remember these are generalities and you should see a dentist on a regular basis to avoid problems or to take care of your own concerns before they become bigger troubles.
One topic I’ve been asked a lot about lately is Teeth Whitening or Bleaching.
Have you ever felt your smile was not as bright as you wanted it to be? Do you like the shape and spacing of your teeth but they are not as white as they once where? Then tooth whitening could be for you.
People love a nice white smile. It portrays a healthy and youthful appearance and is now very easy to achieve. You should discuss with your dentist if you are a candidate for bleaching. If you have tooth colored fillings or crowns on your front teeth, you are a candidate only if you are willing to replace those fillings or crowns to match the new lighter teeth. The color of your existing teeth will also determine how well they will lighten.
There are 3 ways to whiten your teeth.
1) In Office Bleaching
2) Take Home Bleaching
3) Over the Counter Whitening toothpastes and Bleaching strips.
In Office Bleaching is the quickest and therefore has the ability for instant gratification. The procedure takes place in the dentist office where a protective barrier is placed over the gums and the concentrated bleaching material is placed on the teeth and is then laser light activated. This procedure takes approximately 1 hour.
Take Home Bleaching. Your dentist will make custom bleaching trays that fit intimately with your teeth. After your dentist gives you instructions on how to use them you take home the trays and some dentist dispensed teeth whitening gel. You then place the gel in the trays and wear them for an extended period of time. Each brand of bleaching gel will have it’s own specific instructions that your dentist will discuss with you. This usually takes 2-3 weeks to provide the same results as In Office Bleaching.
Over the Counter Whitening toothpastes and strips work if you only have surface stains. The strips will only cover your front 6 teeth and are somewhat cumbersome to work with. These will not change the intrinsic coloring of the teeth and the whitening toothpastes can be abrasive to your enamel.
I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
Jason Parli, DDS