Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Toothy Tuesdays: Bleaching

Lots of people want to show off a full mouth of pearly whites when they smile and bleaching can often help achieve that look, but there a few things to consider before you take the whitening plunge...

External sources such as coffee, tea, wine, cigarettes and soda have an effect on the shade of your teeth. But the general anatomy of your tooth is also a deciding factor. Under the enamel lies a layer of dentin--this layer naturally displays a yellow tint and affects the shade of your teeth depending on the thickness of the overlying enamel. This means that for some, no amount of bleaching will achieve a perfectly white smile.

Now, the topic of various bleaching products can certainly be exhausting. Whitening strips that are sold over the counter are great. A lot of our patients and friends, myself included, have had success with whitening strips. If you're afraid of that post-treatment sensitivity-the use of desensitizing agents (such as Sensodyne toothpaste) before initial treatment can greatly reduce tooth sensitivity caused by bleaching. Perhaps you're looking for something a little faster or stronger?? Your dentist can create custom bleach trays and provide you with the gel, instructions and application times to achieve that result. Just keep in mind that the chemicals in these gels are almost the same as those in the whitening strips and so they will likely achieve very similar results. For those considering visiting your dentist's office for some zap, zoom, zing bleaching using the UV light, you might want to reconsider. Peroxide, the chemical used in most bleaching products, is not enhanced by exposure to UV light. In fact, studies have shown no difference between teeth bleached with or without UV light and in some cases the teeth bleached with UV light reverted back to their initial color sooner.

No comments: