Yes it is true! As we age an unfortunate event is yellowing of our teeth. Everyone deserves a nice smile and today with advances in teeth whitening products it is possible to have the white teeth that you have always dreamed of. There are many products available to achieve a nice white smile. They range from over the counter products to to at home bleaching and in-office bleaching.
Why are my teeth discoloring?
Discoloration can be a result of external factors such as red wine, tea or coffee, soda, or smoking. As we age the inside layer of our teeth called dentin darkens naturally as well. These types of stains are most responsive to whitening.
Other factors such as tetracycline staining and fluorosis (too much fluoride during the formative years of teeth development), or naturally grey teeth can be more difficult and time consuming to whiten.
Also, if you have bonding or tooth colored fillings, they may darken over time. If you whiten your teeth, these restorations don’t whiten and you may have to consider replacing them.
What is involved in whitening my teeth?
There are two types of whitening, in-office and at home whitening. Most products contain a carbamide peroxide solution for both at home and in office systems. The concentration may vary depending on the product that you use. Most at home products have a maximum of 15% Carbamide peroxide whereas the in-office solutions have a higher percentage, and hence should be supervised.
At home whitening requires molds of your teeth. A set of custom trays are fabricated to fit over your teeth. A gel is dispensed through your dentist and you fill the trays and follow that manufacturer’s directions. Because the trays are custom made, the whitening gel stays on your teeth and doesn’t seep onto your gums. If you experience a lot of material extruding from your trays, be sure to wipe the excess off your gums with a q-tip and adjust the amount of material you are using. This procedure can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your starting point and how white you want your teeth to get.
In-office procedures usually give a better and quicker result. In our Escondido dental office, we provide custom trays for touch ups after your initial in-office whitening procedure. The process usually takes about an hour. You will walk out with the whitest that your teeth are capable of getting.
Are there any problems or side effects with whitening your teeth?
Mild teeth sensitivity is a common side effects when bleaching teeth. This usually lasts a few days. The use of professional fluoride in the whitening trays helps alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing. All whitening products used professionally in dental offices are ADA approved and do not damage tooth enamel when used correctly and under the supervision of your dentist.
What about over the counter products?
Over the counter products are not regulated and don’t undergo the scrutiny of governmental oversight as medical devices or drugs do. Therefore, you should be cautious about prolonged use of these products. The over the counter teeth whitening systems that rely on a tray to hold the whitening gel are not custom fit to your teeth so be cautious that the gel doesn’t run on to your gums or get swallowed.
Whitening toothpastes are usually relying on abrasives to remove extrinsic stains, therefore, prolonged use can result in enamel wear. If the toothpaste does contain a peroxide solution, it is usually not in contact with your teeth for sufficient time to get an effective result.
Our favorite whitening product in our Escondido, Ca dental office is the KORwhitening system. For more information on this amazing system and to get the smile you have always dreamed of see our blog on KOR. Be sure to call our office at 760-747-1811 for more information. Also be sure to check out our new patient promotions!