Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

Posted on: September 25, 2014

Teeth WhiteningMany of our patients are interested in teeth whitening because it is an affordable way to improve their smile.  This procedure is easy, painless, and inexpensive while producing dramatic results.  It is especially good for people that have a special occasion coming up or want to appear younger.  We realize that many of the questions are the same, regardless of the patients and want to provide you with more information here.  If this doesn’t answer all of your questions or you are ready to get started – give us a call.


Can anyone whiten their teeth? We recommend that this procedure be used for adults.  Some teenagers may be ready for it, but that is on a case by case basis after we have examined their teeth.  Typically, most teens don’t need this type of procedure, and a basic teeth cleaning is enough to brighten their smile.
How does it work? Teeth whitening is done by placing a solution onto the teeth that typically contains some level of peroxide.  Peroxide can penetrate the enamel of the teeth and start a process called oxidation.  In this scenario, the molecules inside of the teeth are made to reflect less light and therefore appear colorless.  This creates the white effect.
Does it hurt? No, if you have the procedure done by the dentist it will not hurt or cause discomfort.  If, however, you purchase an over the counter teeth whitening tray you may experience pain and discomfort.  The difference is that anything done at the dentist office is handled by a trained medical professional, and the whitening trays are made to fit your teeth perfectly.  When you buy something at the store, you can’t control the chemicals and whether the solution is in the appropriate dosage.  Additionally, since the trays are not made specifically for you, solution may leak onto your gums and cause irritation.
Can I control how white my teeth get? Yes, you don’t have to live with a dull yellow smile or a bright and blinding one.  You can decide how white you want your teeth to get.  This is easy to do when using teeth whitening trays created by the dentist because they are worn every night for a few weeks.  Once you like how your teeth look, you can stop wearing them.
Will this get out the stains from smoking? Most stains can be removed using this procedure.  However, there are times where a certain patient’s teeth don’t respond like they should or a particular stain won’t come out.  When this is the case, we offer dental veneers that can be placed on top of stained teeth to improve their appearance.
What are the ways to whiten teeth? We recommend a professional procedure since it can whiten teeth by up to eight shades while being safer and more comfortable than drug store remedies.  You can have them whitened in the office or at home using custom whitening trays.  Otherwise, the drug store sells trays, strips, and toothpaste you can try but the results aren’t as good.
Give us a call to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

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