One of the questions we at City of Oaks Dental are most frequently asked is in regards to the whitening of teeth. Wouldn’t we all love to have a beautiful winning smile - can we get it by whitening? Is whitening safe for our teeth?
There are two methods (each with lots of variations) to whiten teeth.
A bleaching agent works by penetrating the enamel of the tooth and removing stain that is deep into the tooth. It requires a vessel to place the bleaching agent on the teeth and must sit on the teeth for a specified amount of time based on the strength of the product. This method of whitening comes in different forms. There are over-the-counter (OTC) whitening trays and whitening strips. OTC products are weaker formulations of bleach and are ideal for patients looking for minimal whitening. If the OTC products don’t work for you, then a stronger solution can be dispensed by Dr. Throop at City of Oaks Dental. Stronger solutions include custom made whitening trays and in-office whitening systems. All bleach based whitening systems have varying results, but are a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth.
An abrasive agent relies on scrubbing the stain from the tooth and using mechanical force (toothbrush, finger, etc) to scrape stain away. Abrasive agents are often harmful to the enamel of the tooth, as well as, ineffective at whitening teeth. Abrasive products include whitening toothpastes, charcoal based products, and whitening mouth rinses. These products are more about marketing and provide little benefit to your teeth. These are NOT RECOMMENDED BY DR. THROOP.
Whitening is very safe for your teeth if done correctly. Don’t waste your money on abrasive whitening agents, when bleaching agents are the only effective whitening method.