Teeth whitening is a simple procedure and there are several bleaching options!
Are your teeth dark, yellow, or stained? Well there is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can lighten your teeth! Why not call Bauer Dentistry and Orthodontics today for a complimentary consultation and evaluation about tooth whitening?
What teeth whitening product should you use?
At Bauer Dentistry and Orthodontics we offer 3 options to help whiten your teeth. When making a decision on which product is right for you the one thing you need to know is that the ONLY thing whitening, actually oxidizing the stains in your teeth, is hydrogen peroxide. Dentists and stores sell both carbamide and hydrogen peroxide but the carbamide peroxide breaks down into hydrogen peroxide prior to doing anything. We use carbamide peroxide because it is less aggressive and lasts longer in the mouth. All the lights and lasers and everything else are just a marketing and/or a delivery method of the carbamide/hydrogen peroxide.
Option #1 Teeth whitening strips
Anyone can use these as they are NOT custom. These are similar to what you get in the store but are a higher percentage gel, so they work faster. They do require the most work on your part and are slower than the other options.
Option #2 Custom made teeth bleaching tray with whitening gel
Requires some work on your part. Works faster than the strips though.
Advantage of this is once made, you keep the tray forever and can just buy more gel to put in the tray if you want to whiten again later in life. We typically whiten the upper teeth first and then move to the bottom ones to ensure the strength we are using is adequate.
Option #3 Bauer PowerBleach
1 hour Power in-office bleach. This option is great for people that want fast results. It is also great for those who do not want the hassle of trays or strips.
Although we call this option an “1 hour bleach”, you may spend closer to 2 hours in the office depending on how many sessions we do. We apply a 40% hydrogen peroxide gel directly to your teeth in 15 minutes cycles. The downside to this option is once you’re done, that’s it. If you need a little more touch up you have to buy something else.
Not everyone will get great results with this and there is not a good way to predict who those people are ahead of time. If you choose this option know that you will either get great results or find out you are someone that takes more of an effort to whiten. This option typically comes with some sensitivity so you will be given a desensitizing product and 600mg ibuprofen when you are done. Some people do not notice anything afterwards but you should expect some sensitivity that night.
What percentage of whitening gel should you use?
We usually recommend recommend 16% for younger people and 20% or 35% for more mature people or for anyone with heavy stain.
The higher the percentage of either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide the faster it works. Whatever percentage carbamide is then you can divide that by 3 to find the equivalent in hydrogen peroxide. So 18% carbamide peroxide is 6% hydrogen peroxide.
The only reason we do not always use the highest percentage is that the higher the percentage gels are more likely to cause sensitivity. This sensitivity will also be more severe to anything cold. The sensitivity is nothing permanent and is NOT doing any damage to either your tooth or the nerve in your tooth.
We often ask about general teeth sensitivity and base our recommendation of percentage on that answer. It all comes down to what percentage you can tolerate without getting too much sensitivity and how quickly you want to get done.
Do you need more than just a teeth whitening?
If you have any questions about which option is right for you then just ask about whitening options during your dental visit. You can do options #1 and #2 at anytime, but we must schedule option 3. If you have read this far you obviously care about your smile and how it looks and perhaps “just” whitening isn’t enough for you. Perhaps veneers are what you really want to get you the smile you really want. If you are interested check out our veneers blog.
FAQ teeth whitening section
How much teeth whitening gel should I put in my bleaching tray?
Karen, our hygienist, answers this common teeth bleaching question.
How do I whiten just one dark tooth?
This is a tough one. If the tooth does not have a root canal and does not need one then whitening it can be challenging. It is doable but will take some work. Often a single front tooth that is dark will have a root canal and we can do an internal bleaching. If not you have several options for a dark front tooth and whitening is one of them. It is the cheapest option but will likely take the longest.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes – the product is peroxide based and does NOT harm enamel.
How should I start whitening my teeth?
The best way to start is to determine your goal with your whitening. Is there a special event? Are your teeth heavily stained? Do you have habits like drinking coffee & red wine? All whitening is peroxide based and what varies is the strength of the chemical & how it is delivered. The stronger the chemical, the faster the results, the greater the cost, and it is more likely you will experience hot & cold sensitivity.
Should I stop whitening if I get sensitive teeth?
We don’t recommend that you stop but we do recommend that you slow down. Some people can only whiten every other or every third day.
How long will my results last?
Just like hair color (which is also peroxide based) whitened teeth require maintenance. This really depends on how many staining products you consume or use. Most people will need to use trays or strips 1-2 days per month.
How do I know when my teeth are white enough?
Everyone has a different goal for their results. There isn’t one right answer, but in general the whites of your eyes should match your teeth.
Can I over whiten?
No. How far you want to go is up to you but eventually you simply will not get any whiter with whitening products.