About Teeth Whitening:
Our teeth can stain throughout a lifetime through a variety of factors including but not limited to dark colored beverages, coffee, red wine, tea & a lack of quality oral hygiene. This staining can affect the brightness in our smile. However, dental whitening gives us the option to lighten our teeth. According to the American dental Association, “The tooth whitening market has evolved into four categories: professionally applied (in the dental office); dentist-prescribed/dispensed (patient home-use); consumer- purchased/over-the-counter (OTC) (applied by patients); and other non-dental options” These majority of these whitening options contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient. Below we will detail the differences between some of the most popular products.
Currently, the market has a variety of whitening toothpaste. The ADA (American Dental Association) puts its seal on those that have been tested in the market. According to the ADA, “Whitening toothpastes (dentifrices) in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program contain polishing or chemical agents that are designed to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. They do this through gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or some other non-bleaching actions. Several whitening toothpastes that are available OTC have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance.” However, some whitening toothpastes sometimes cause severe temperature sensitivity to their teeth.
Professionally Applied Bleaching Products –
Our office applies higher percentage bleaching with cases that need a brighter change. The ADA has simplified this procedure in the following statement, “These products use hydrogen peroxide in concentrations ranging from 25 percent to 40 percent and are sometimes used together with a light or laser, which the companies state accelerate or activate the whitening process. However, most studies have reported no additional long-term benefit with light-activated systems. Prior to application of professional products, gum tissues are protected either by isolation with a rubber dam or application of a gel. Whereas home-use products are intended for use over a two-to-four week period, the in-office professional procedure is usually completed in about one hour.” Thus, professional applied bleaching provides a much larger change in brightness in a short amount of time. However, due to the percentage utilized, it can cause sensitivity. Thus, we typically recommend using toothpaste that controls sensitivity such as Sensodyne 1-2 weeks prior to this type of bleaching.
Dentist Dispensed Products
Our office also gives an at home option for a more controlled whitening application. Our at home whitening comes with 10%, 15%, & 20% options depending on the whitening expectations. We take an impression in order to make a custom made tray that can be filled at the end of the day. According to the ADA, “Dentist-dispensed and OTC home-use tooth whitening bleaches are eligible for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The products in this category that currently bear the ADA Seal contain 10 percent carbamide peroxide; however, participation in the program is not limited to products of this concentration or type of bleach.” This whitening allows us to control some of the sensitivity associated with whitening. Those that have higher sensitivity will start with a 10% bleaching solution.