Besides maintaining a healthy weights and having clear skin, the importance of clean, white teeth has been raised to the top of most everyone’s appearance agenda.
Teeth tend to stain for many reasons such as smoking, drinking coffee, tea, or pop. But stains can also be caused by certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline or too much fluoride.
While there are a number of over-the-counter whitening systems including toothpastes, mouth rinses, stripes and trays, there are also many in-office treatments available including bleaching, bonding and the latest high-tech option laser tooth whitening which we call Zoom.
Supervised bleach procedures that are done in-office and at home have become the most popular treatment options. In some cases, the procedure is performed entirely in the office, using a light or heat source to speed up the bleaching process. In other cases, impressions are taken in the office and the patient does the bleaching at home.
At-home procedures include the use of mouth trays and consist of placing a bleaching solution, usually a peroxide mixture, in a tray that has been custom fitted for the patient’s mouth.
Bleaching solutions vary in potency and patients are instructed to wear the trays for only an hour of throughout the night, depending on the severity of the tooth discoloration. Some patients ask about the side effects or discomfort they may experience during the whitening process. A few side effects that some have experienced include increased temperature sensitivity in the teeth or slight gum irritation from the use of mouth trays.
We caution our patients against using exorbitant amounts of the over-the-counter home bleaching products. These products can and will wear away tooth enamel, especially with solutions containing acid.
The systems we use and recommend help out patients to achieve a bright, white smile. As with any procedure, it is best to consult with us to determine the best course of treatment for you personally.