We all love white teeth; in fact, teeth whitening is the number one requested cosmetic procedure in America. Your teeth are porous to a certain degree which means that tea, coffee, some antibiotics, tobacco, and red wine can all have an effect on the color of your teeth. If you are not happy with the color of your teeth, there is no better time than now to make a change. There are many whitening options in today’s market and we want to clarify how these products work and their advantages. There are many ways to achieve a whiter smile, but most involve the utilization of a bleaching agent that is held or painted onto the surface of the teeth; just think your smile can be transformed from dull…to dazzling.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
A whitening gel is placed in a tray that fits over your teeth. There is an active ingredient in the gel called carbamide peroxide which breaks down and begins to enter the enamel and bleaches the colored substances. How safe is the procedure? Very; dentists have known for years that whitening/bleaching is a safe and fast way to whiten teeth up to 2-5 shades. When whitening, the structure of the tooth is not changed; only the tooth is made lighter and whiter. If you have fillings, crowns or bonding in on your teeth they will not lighten.
At Home Whitening
You have two options when it comes to at-home whitening, over-the-counter products and take-home kits from our office. The over-the-counter products, like Crest Whitestrips® and paint-on solutions, are less effective and do not provide the brightness our in-office treatment can provide. These products do not last as long, either. The “professional strength” version of Crest® and other brands do have a stronger, more potent bleaching agent in them, again, with limited results. Even the most common at-home methods such as chewing a whitening gum, whitening toothpastes, and mints have a limited whitening ability.
The take-home whitening kit involves a thorough exam, impressions of your upper and lower teeth and the creation of a set of plastic trays that cover your teeth up to the gumline. The trays themselves are made of a soft, flexible and comfortable plastic material that flexes in your mouth and is quite easy to wear. Before inserting the trays, you will fill them with a whitening material (usually a carbamide peroxide mixture) to a level that does not come to your gum tissue, so your gums will not get irritated during the process. Of course, Dr.shiffman, will give you specific instructions for length of wear and frequency to get the desired result.
In Office Whitening
Zoom and Opalescence Boost are our choices for in-office tooth whitening. Clinically proven to whiten natural teeth, They both lighten internal discoloration caused by medication or tooth trauma, as well as superficial stains from foods, drinks and smoking. Fillings and bonding materials remain unaffected. Opalescence Boost features a unique, chemically activated formula that allows us to whiten your teeth without the bothersome heat or ultraviolet rays of a light. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which help to improve oral health by strengthening enamel, decreasing sensitivity, and offering increased cavity prevention. Opalescence Boost offers results in about an hour. The dentist-supervised, in-office procedure is safe and effective, and offers a brighter, whiter smile after just one appointment. This dramatic change does cost more, but the quick result, lack of daily up keep like the in-home whitening kits, and the relatively low cost to benefit received make it a huge success.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening options, please call our office to discuss the whitening treatments we offer, and which would be best for you.