Brightening the color of your teeth can be performed with personalized in-office dental bleaching. Protective barriers are placed around the gums, and a potent, high-concentration bleaching gel is applied directly to the teeth surfaces, which is then activated with our LED whitening-acceleration lamp. The entire procedure lasts just over an hour, during which you can simply lay back, relax, and catch up on your favorite TV shows on our ceiling monitors. We also fabricate custom whitening trays for at-home bleaching and touch-ups.
How will my teeth respond to bleaching?
It is important to note that only natural teeth will respond to dental bleaching. Fillings, crowns, dentures, etc. will not whiten with dental bleaching. It is also important to note that, though the whitening process does not actually damage the teeth in any way, there may be temporary sensitivity during and after the application of dental whitening materials.
How can I reduce sensitivity due to bleaching?
Before you whiten your teeth, whether using over-the-counter treatments from the grocery store or professional bleaching in our office, it is strongly recommended to use a de-sensitizing toothpaste containing a protective mineral called potassium nitrate. Common examples include Sensodyne®, Colgate® Sensitive, or Tom's of Maine® Sensitive. These toothpastes help to reduce sensitivity during and after the bleaching process and should be used in place of regular toothpaste for at least 2 weeks prior to bleaching.
Are over-the-counter bleaching methods safe and effective?
Generally speaking, yes, but use with caution. Over-the-counter bleaching methods, such as Crest Whitestrips, contain lower concentrations of peroxide and, when used appropriately according to instructions, can indeed whiten teeth over time. More consistent use can yield better results and, therefore, these methods can work fine for people with healthy teeth who can bleach over a longer period of time and who may not need a more dramatic result immediately. Unfortunately, over-the-counter bleaching methods may cause gum irritation due to their "one size fits all" design, and also may not effectively reach all tooth surfaces evenly, especially in people with crowded teeth. If you have any questions about your specific needs, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with our friendly staff.
Are there natural holistic home remedies that can whiten my teeth? Such as coconut oil pulling, charcoal, baking soda, or lemons?
Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are the ONLY substances scientifically-proven to be able to effectively change the actual intrinsic color of teeth. Though, some home remedies may make the teeth appear brighter due to the removal of mild surface stains.
Coconut oil is used by some people as a mouth rinse that can indeed wash away surface impurities, but it is not a "cure-all" and will not heal deep cavities and will not change the actual color of the teeth themselves.
Pastes made of charcoal or baking soda, though not necessarily harmful to the teeth when used gently as surface exfoliants, only remove surface stains and may not work on people with darker stains and tooth decay. They may also lack the most important tooth-rebuilding and cavity-fighting mineral - fluoride - and so you may still have to continue using your regular toothpaste, as well.
We strongly advise against the excessive use of lemons or other citrus fruits due to the acidic pH, which damages and dissolves tooth enamel over time.