At home whitening treatments can deliver drastic cosmetic results. If your teeth are healthy but suffer from stains, Dr. James Fondriest can provide you with at home bleaching kits. The easy to use kits can brighten your smile by several shades. We encourage our patients to read on to learn what tooth bleaching can do for you.
We do not recommend office whitening for safety reasons. We encourage patients to use our safe and effective treatments in the convenience of their home.
Are you a candidate for teeth bleaching?
There are many factors that can lead to poor tooth coloring. Aging can leave teeth looking yellow. As we age, the enamel that protects the yellowish layer of dentin can thin. As the enamel wears, the yellow layer beneath can begin to show through.
Certain foods and drinks have tannins that can stain the microscopic pores on our enamel. Red wine (sorry) and dark chocolate (also sorry) are two major culprits. You do not have to cut out life’s pleasures but cutting back can help. Switching from merlot to a rose, for example, can lower your risk of dental staining.
Candidates for teeth bleaching should be in good oral health. If you have any tooth decay or gum disease, our doctor will need to address those dental problems first.
Another consideration for bleaching candidacy is tooth sensitivity. If your teeth hurt when eating or drinking hot or cold drinks, you likely have sensitive teeth. The bleaching agent used in whitening treatments can increase sensitivity.
If you have sensitive teeth, please let our doctor know so they can provide options. Our office can provide you whitening treatments that will not aggravate your teeth. Even with this precaution, it is important to not overuse any bleaching agent.
Dr. Fondriest will establish your candidacy during a visit to our Lake Forest Dental Arts office. During your visit, he will listen intently to your personal cosmetic goals. Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in yourself and your future.
A bright smile can improve how others perceive you. Studies have shown that our smiles determine how attractive, young, and even intelligent we appear to others. Make a great first impression with a bright white smile.
Once your candidacy is established, a member of our dental team will schedule your cosmetic treatment. Your whitening treatment will take about one hour.
How does teeth bleaching work?
The agent found in bleach breaks down the molecules that stain teeth. The stains are then lifted from your teeth. Unlike whitenings kits, professional whitening can reach deep into the enamel. Even mild below the surface stains can be removed.
Our office uses the latest bleaching option: Nite White Excel 3. The liquid gel safely whitens your teeth while you sleep. The active ingredient, carbamide peroxide, has been used for many years and has nothing to do with sodium hypochlorite. It can remove stains caused by food, coffee, tobacco, aging, and other sources.
Many of our patients will notice results after one overnight use. The final results can take a few weeks. The treatment comes in a range of concentrations. Anyone who has sensitive teeth can benefit from lower amounts.
All Night White and Day White products use an advanced system that allows the hydrogen peroxide chamber to remain separate from the chamber until the moment of use. This allows the freshest blend of gel to be dispensed every time.
A custom mouthguard will be created for each jaw. The oral piece holds the gel near the surface of your teeth. Each whitening kit comes with detailed instructions. You should first clean your teeth thoroughly including use if proxy brushes. Have regular cleanings to remove surface stains.
Then, place a small amount of bleaching agent near the bottom of your trays and toward the front. There is no need for the bleach to reach the backside of your teeth where nobody would see.
How many hours a day that the trays are worn depends on your sensitivity and the guidelines. Individuals with sensitive teeth may wear the trays for as little as 45 minutes. Some take-home kits allow the trays to be worn overnight. When finished, use warm water to rinse the lightening product off.
Side effects are rare. If your teeth begin to feel overly sensitive, simply take a break. The take-home kits have a shelf life of up to three years. There are also toothpaste options and whitening strips that lower sensitivity issues.
Maintaining Your Whitening Results
The long term cosmetic results of teeth bleaching will last around three years. At any point, you can simply undergo touch-up bleach product treatments. Using whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes is another great option. Whitening products contain small amounts of peroxide that can life surface stains.
Some whitening toothpaste brands have abrasive ingredients like baking powder that help remove stains.
Avoiding stain inducing foods and drinks is also important. Don’t sip or savor your coffee for extended periods of time. Drinking iced coffee through a straw is another proven option that can keep your teeth whiter.
Dr. Fondriest recommends professional cleanings. Brushing alone cannot remove plaque and tartar. Only professional cleanings can remove those hard deposits.
If you have not invested in a good electric toothbrush, you may want to consider it. An electric toothbrush can vibrate several thousand times per minute — something you cannot do on your own.
Are there whitening alternatives?
Bleaching is a non-invasive treatment that only addresses stains. If you have small patches of discolored enamel, cosmetic bonding can cover those areas with a natural-looking resin. Bonding is also not invasive.
If you have deep stains that cannot be removed easily, you may be a good candidate for veneers. A veneer is a thin shell that covers your tooth in a durable material. Veneers can be made from a variety of materials. Our office is proud to offer no-prep veneers.
No-prep veneers do not require the removal of enamel. Traditional veneers require that the treated tooth has natural tooth structure removed to create room for each veneer. Veneers generally last 10-20 years.
Serious staining can also be fixed through the placement of a crown.
Schedule Your Teeth Bleaching Today
Teeth bleaching is an effective cosmetic option. If you are embarrassed by discolored teeth, talk to your dentist about customizing a treatment for you. There are many whitening options that are not invasive with few side effects.
Like skin lightening creams, whiter teeth convey youth, confidence, and beauty. Our office does not perform in-office bleaching because it dehydrates enamel. Due to the lack of color removal and the possible negative side effects like blue black gum tissue irritation, bleaching in our office is not recommended.