Today, there are more teeth whitening options than ever before. For good reason too, over time as we drink our favorite drinks (red wine, coffee, tea, cola, etc.) and eat colorful fruits and veggies (carrots, oranges, etc.), our teeth naturally wear and tear, are extrinsic stains, or surface stains and are most amendable to bleach. Intrinsic stains are those deep within the enamel caused by trauma, decay, medication, aging, etc. Whitening is an effective way to counter these unappealing effects.
In this surge of popularity, I’m sure you have come across many of these options while shopping, such as whitening toothpastes, strips and trays. But how effective are these do-it-yourself methods, and more importantly, how safe are they? Whitening methods containing peroxide (many of the strips and trays are available for purchase) remove extrinsic and intrinsic stains by bleaching teeth. Non-bleaching products (many of the whitening toothpastes available) remove surface stains only by utilizing other polishing and other chemical agents. While the ADA states that irreversible tooth damage has only been reported on rare occasions, the most prevalent side effects of OTC whitening products with peroxide is increased (temporarily) tooth sensitivity. The bleaching formula is simple: strength of bleach + time on the teeth = result.
While these OTC methods are safe in most circumstances and effective for many, they are not an ideal solution for everyone. The success of these products depends on the condition of your oral health. At home bleaching products are not recommended for those who experience extreme tooth sensitivity beforehand, those who have crowns or fillings up front and those with extremely dark stains.
When considering what options to take in regards to brightening your smile, consulting our team is the first and most important step you can take. We can evaluate the condition of your oral health and recommend what whitening route would be best to take. OTC bleaching is very effective for many folks. Custom bleach trays/professional bleaching offer several advantages in select cases allowing you to avoid sensitive areas and using stronger bleach material to remove stubborn or deeper stain.