No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Why It's Not A Good Idea To Skimp On Your Teeth Whitening

by Jeremiah Barnett

It's tempting to try whitening your own teeth when you see the dozens of home whitening kits available at the drug store. These one-size-fits-all solutions will likely be disappointing and could be painful. Your local dental clinic anticipates your needs and tailors the whitening session for your comfort. Here are the major differences between what you'll get at your dentist's office and a home whitening kit.

The Dentist's Approach

The dentist first cleans your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar that prevents the whitening agent from contacting the tooth enamel. They will also inspect your teeth for pitting or signs of decay. The whitening solution can cause irritation if it gets into the tooth through one of these openings.

Your dentist will then cover your gums, lips and cheeks with a barrier to prevent the whitening agent from irritating them.

The whitening agent is then applied to each tooth so the enamel is covered evenly. This material has no effect until it is activated by a special light. This changes the chemistry of the whitening agent to create a form of bleach. The bleach is what removes stains and brightens your teeth. You'll sit with the agent on your teeth for several minutes while the dentist checks the progress. You'll then rinse your mouth out to neutralize the bleach and remove it from your teeth.

The whitening agent used by your dentist is strong enough that you'll likely need only one session to achieve the results you want.

The Home Kit Approach

The whitening agent in these kits is not as strong as that used by the dentist. You will need to repeat the whitening several times to see results. Some of the issues you may encounter when using a kit include:

  • Any plaque or tartar on your teeth will block the whitening agent so you'll get spotty results.
  • You may have some irritation if the whitening agent comes into contact with decay or pitting in a tooth.
  • Your gums, cheeks and lips may be irritated by the whitening agent.
  • Some kits use a tray to hold the solution against your teeth. The tray is one-size-fits-all and may be painful to hold in your mouth long enough for the whitening agent to have an effect.
  • Tough stains on your teeth from smoking or foods may not be removed by the whitening agent in a kit.

The precautions that your dentist takes and the results you'll get from their whitening agent make the professional approach to teeth whitening the one to use if you're serious about having a bright, white smile.

For a dentist in your area, contact an office such as Fresh Wave Dental Care PC.