Teeth Whitening Options – Which One is Right For You?

Learn About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a multi-billion dollar industry.  It is pretty safe to say that everyone wants white teeth.  There are various ways to go about getting white teeth.  This blog will outline the different types to help you decide which one is right for you.

DIY Teeth Whitening Trends

Before you read any further, we want to make it crystal clear that we do not support any DIY whitening trends.  There is too much risk for enamel damage.  It is not worth the risk.

Many DIY teeth whitening trends include things like coconut oil, activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Of all these ingredients, the only one safe for your mouth is coconut oil.  Oil pulling will not damage your teeth or gums.

Activated charcoal has been studied by the American Dental Association, and it has NOT been deemed safe for use as a toothpaste.  Fans of charcoal claim that it absorbs stains from the teeth.  This claim is untrue.  The risk is that the small particles of activated charcoal are very abrasive.  Over time, they can actually remove your enamel, making it thinner.  Thin enamel is more see-through, and what you see through it is the underlying dentin, which is yellow.

Apple cider vinegar and fruit juices are very acidic.  A low (acidic) pH is dangerous and erosive to enamel.  Not only can it erode away healthy enamel, it also makes it easier for bacteria to cause cavities.  (Important Note: This goes for anything acidic, like sodas, sports drinks, and sparkling water!)

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are generally safe.  Look for one with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval.  This means scientific research confirms the safety and effectiveness of a dental product.

Whitening toothpastes create a brighter appearance of teeth by gently polishing away superficial stains on the enamel surface.  When used regularly, whitening toothpastes prevent continual staining from dark beverages like coffee, tea and red wine, or habits like smoking and using other forms of tobacco.

Whitening toothpastes do not bleach the overall structure of the tooth.  They simply remove surface stains to brighten the appearance of teeth.

For the best result with whitening toothpaste, use it in conjunction with an electric toothbrush.  A powered toothbrush increases the effectiveness and polishing ability of a whitening toothpaste.

Never use whitening toothpaste if your teeth are badly decayed, if they are already sensitive, or if you have exposed roots.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

Over-the-counter whitening products, like Crest WhiteStrips for example, typically contain the same active ingredient as professional teeth whitening products.  The only chemicals scientifically proven to bleach teeth and change their color are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which is a close relative.

Peroxides whiten teeth by penetrating the surface of enamel to oxidize pigmented (darkly colored) molecules and break them down.

There are two main differences between over-the-counter whitening products and professional whitening products.

  1. The application method – They differ in how they are applied to the teeth. Over-the-counter products often use preformed trays or gel-coated strips that stick to the teeth.
  2. The strength of the whitening ingredient – Over-the-counter products are a lower concentration of the peroxide chemical. This means they may take a little longer for you to notice a difference, or you may not get quite as much of a result as you would like.

Professional Teeth Whitening

At Premier Dental of Ohio, we offer the most well respected brand of teeth whitening products: Opalescence®.  Opalescence® teeth whitening gels have a long history, over 20 years, of creating beautiful bright smiles.

This brand of whitening gels offer two great advantages over the available over-the-counter products.

  1. Opalescence® comes in three different concentrations or strengths. This gives you flexibility in how long it takes to whiten your teeth.  It allows you to wear whitening gel at night while you sleep.  Different strengths give you the option to whiten your teeth even if they are sensitive.
  2. Opalescence® whitening gels contain an additional ingredient for the specific purpose of fighting tooth sensitivity: Potassium nitrate. It is a great desensitizer, and its presence in the whitening gel makes you less likely to experience sensitivity while you whiten your teeth.

In addition to these benefits, professional teeth whitening uses a custom fit whitening tray to apply the gel to your teeth.  These trays have the advantages of keeping the gel in close contact with the teeth, keeping the gel away from your gums, and allowing you to use the minimum amount of whitening gel, which makes the quantity you have go further.

The whitening trays are made out of a flexible, durable material that molds perfectly to your teeth.  They will last for many years, so they allow you to maintain your whitening effect for as long as you want.  You keep the trays and simply purchase refill kits of gel.

Important Points about Teeth Whitening

  • Only natural teeth will whiten. Fillings, crowns, bridges and veneers will not change color when you whiten your teeth.
  • Teeth whitening is never permanent. Your teeth will gradually stain and darken over time, so maintenance is required to keep your teeth white.
  • Whitening can make your teeth sensitive. Make sure to have your dentist evaluate areas of sensitivity.

Interested in Professional Teeth Whitening?

Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a visit to get started on your teeth whitening!  You will never regret it.