Woodland Park Dental
Dr. Caesar Hearne

Brighten Your Smile With Teeth Whitening

There are many techniques for teeth whitening. You may have also seen advertisements for dentists that appear to be able to whiten your teeth several shades in an hour using various lighting and lasers. Perhaps you’ve seen the many over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening remedies. Except for whitening toothpaste, almost all teeth whitening process is dependent on a single chemical. The chemical is a kind of peroxide. The peroxide is effectively the same when you buy an over-the-counter bleaching device or get the bleaching done in a fancy, high-tech office building, and the effects can be as well.

There are several teeth whitening systems on the market. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of each approach:

Over-the-counter teeth whitening strips

Advantages: The teeth can gradually become whiter, they are inexpensive, and they can potentially be cost-effective.

Disadvantages: Since this is not a custom-fit device, the peroxide will get anywhere, even on your gums. Furthermore, the strips do not always cover any of the teeth in your smile, so you might need to use several strips on a single application. Finally, since the concentration of peroxide is low, the effects can take longer to obtain and realize.

Such over-the-counter treatments (paint-on, etc.)

Advantages: The teeth can gradually become whiter, they are inexpensive, and they can potentially be cost-effective.

Disadvantages: Since the peroxide is not held against the teeth by trays or strips, you would most likely swallow more of it. Other shortcomings are similar to those of whitening strips. We haven’t seen any conclusive proof proving the efficacy of these drugs.

Whitening toothpaste does not contain peroxide and hence does not have the same “whitening” properties as the other items on this list. According to one toothpaste salesperson, the only way these toothpastes may also be called “whitening” toothpaste is that they contain particles that are more abrasive to teeth and therefore may strip any surface enamel that has been stained. We would much rather lighten the color of stained enamel than strip it by recommending abrasive toothpaste in our workplace! In reality, several of our patients have reported tooth sensitivity after using whitening toothpaste. We do not recommend these drugs for teeth whitening because they do not have the ADA whitening stamp of approval.

Whitening mouth rinses are not effective teeth whitening products. They do not have the American Dental Association’s stamp of approval for teeth whitening.

Advantages: This is the approach we most often recommend in our workplace. The trays are made of flexible plastic that has been custom-molded to fit your teeth. You should use several different peroxide strengths to apply the teeth whitening gel on your own at home. 

Furthermore, you have the discretion of how long the tray is left on and how many days you wear it. If your teeth become sensitive after whitening, we can supply you with a fluoride gel that is usually good at alleviating these symptoms. This is a natural and reliable way of teeth whitening.

Disadvantages: It’s possible that you’ll have to wait a few days for the trays to be made. Furthermore, if you use a peroxide substance that is too solid, it can trigger tooth irritation, which we can treat effectively.