Whitening teeth…Teeth whitening kits are available everywhere today; online, over the counter, and from your dentist. Studies report that bleaching or whitening products can improve the color of teeth that stain over time. But before you decide to embark on a whitening program, orthodontist Lisa P. Howard DDS MS would like to review some facts about these products and what results you can expect.
- Almost all whitening products contain the same basic ingredient, carbamide peroxide or its breakdown product, hydrogen peroxide. However, the products offered by a dental professional to professionally whiten your teeth are stronger without compromising the health and safety of your teeth, gums, and mouth.
- Over the count whitening systems typically contain no more that 10% carbamide peroxide while prescription only products can contain between 15% and 35%.
- Whitening your teeth is NOT permanent and consequently teeth will slowly yellow again over time as you continue drinking and eating foods that stain teeth. The color begins to fade 6 to 12 months after treatment.
- You can extend your whitening results by not smoking and staying away from foods with colored dyes, red wine, red (tomato-based) sauces, coffee, tea, colored sodas/colas, and blueberries to name a few.
- If you have crowns and/or veneers that are visible when you smile, it is very difficult for whitening programs to perfectly match your veneers or crowns. Keep in mind that bleaching does not change the color of crowns, veneers, bridgework, or any type of artificial tooth.
- One of the most common side effects of whitening teeth is tooth sensitivity and irritation of the gum tissues. This is temporary and often occurs when you embark on a whitening program. The discomfort usually subsides within a few days.
Whitening teeth is an effective way to brighten your smile. Feel free to speak with Dr. Lisa P Howard if you are interested in pursuing a teeth whitening program, even if you plan to use over the counter products. A well informed patient is a happy patient and we aim to please.