5 Teeth Whitening Facts

iStock_000009976321_SmallHow much do you really know about teeth whitening? Is in-office whitening (teeth bleaching at the dentist) really better than DIY whitening? Should you whiten your teeth? Check out these five teeth whitening facts before reaching for the bleach:

1. Teeth whitening is not for everyone.

In general, only healthy teeth can be whitened. If your mouth is unhealthy (lots of cavities, gum disease, failing restorations, etc.), whitening agents can cause more damage. Your dentist will treat primary problems first before making cosmetic improvements. It makes no sense to whiten teeth that can fall out anyway. Even if your teeth and gums are healthy, certain conditions may rule out teeth whitening: very thin enamel, tooth sensitivity, and underlying medical problems.

2. Do-it-Yourself teeth whitening with over-the-counter products may be effective, but it takes time before you can see results.

Over-the-counter whitening strips, gels, and toothpastes are not as effective as in-office bleaching or professional whitening kits because OTC products contain very low concentrations of peroxide. Peroxide is the active ingredient that makes your teeth white. The lower the peroxide concentration, the longer it takes to whiten your teeth.

3. DIY whitening can burn your gums.

If not done correctly, DIY whitening can burn your mouth and cause severe tooth sensitivity. The main problem is leaving on the peroxide for too long and using too much. Side effects also include blisters, sores, and bleeding of the esophagus and stomach when peroxide is ingested.

4. Peroxide doesn’t change the color of restorations.

If you have tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns, and veneers, you can end up with uneven-colored teeth after the whitening process. This is why dentists recommend teeth whitening before placing restorations.

5. Professional teeth cleaning can whiten your teeth.

Some people just need a good old cleaning to brighten their smiles. Professional cleaning or dental prophylaxis scrapes away tartar, plaque, and stains, making your teeth look brand new.

Want whiter teeth? St. Paul dentist Dr. Serafimov offers FREE teeth whitening for life. Call 651-321-5877  now to learn more.