Teeth Whitening

  • Published
  • 99th Medical Group

Have you ever wanted whiter teeth or a brighter smile?  Almost everyone does, and it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to see which whitening options are right for you.


Regardless of your teeth whitening choice, it is important to first obtain a dental exam and cleaning and you might find that a thorough cleaning is all you need.  It will also allow your dentist to determine if any cavities need to be treated before you begin whitening your teeth.  Coincidentally, not all teeth or stains are created equal and the reasons for your stained teeth may not be an easy fix with over-the-counter bleaching or take-home custom trays that your dentist may provide.  Whitening will not change the shade of fillings, crowns, or other dental appliances in your mouth.  It’s important to seek advice from your dental provider on which bleaching option is right for you. 


Home teeth whitening may be done with custom bleaching trays fabricated by your dentist or a dental lab, or with an over-the-counter tooth whitening system. Both are similarly effective and the best results are with a whitening ingredient called carbamide peroxide which typically ranges between 10-20% in concentration.  It’s important to follow instructions to avoid unnecessary irritation to your teeth and gums.  Avoiding coffee, wine, and cigarettes can prove useful in reducing tooth stains.


Teeth whitening is relatively easy, but for some people sensitivity may occur. Occasionally, cold foods, liquids and even air can cause discomfort during the treatment but this should be short-term.  If this happens, skip a day of whitening and if sensitivity persists, use a high fluoride toothpaste instead of the whitening agent in the trays.  If prolonged sensitivity occurs, it’s important to contact your dentist.  It is also necessary to remember that not everybody’s teeth will whiten the same amount or to the same shade.  If your mind is set on having a smile like Britney Spears, you might not be setting a realistic goal.  Teeth whitening is effective and will work for everyone provided that you follow the directions given to you by your dentist.