White Smiles for the Redmond Community
Bleaching teeth to make them whiter has become a very popular and safe procedure. Whether it’s because of tetracycline use during childhood, genetics, or a lifetime of staining foods, most discolored teeth will lighten in color after professional bleaching.
Teeth Whitening Options
When it comes to bleaching, there are many different options available. The basic ingredient is the same in all products, but varies in concentration and form. Over-the-counter products are not allowed to have the higher concentrations of bleach that a dentist uses. This renders many of them useless.
In our office, our preferred method is make bleach trays that are custom made and trimmed to match your teeth. You will then get the bleach which is put into the tray, and then placed on your teeth for the recommended amount of time. We give you enough bleach to last for a couple of weeks. When you are satisfied with the color, stop bleaching and put the trays in a safe place for later. We also have a professional grade White Strips available which are a little less potent, but cost less.
What if My Teeth are Sensitive?
Many dental offices advertise 1 hour, in-office bleaching. I have chosen not to offer this because it is expensive and also because of tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity during bleaching is less of a problem with the new bleaches, but it still happens. If you are someone who develops sensitivity, it is easier to manage over a week or two than in 1 hr.
I’ve already mentioned that the sensitivity problem is better than it used to be. The manufacturers are now putting desensitizers in the bleach which is a big improvement. For those of you who still have discomfort, we recommend brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste before using the bleach. This solves the problem for most people.
Facts to Remember
As mentioned before, you want to keep you bleach trays for later use. It seems that teeth always get more stained with time. If you bleached once, your teeth should continue be lighter than if you had never bleached. But, in time, they will probably slowly yellow again. When this happens, stop by the office for a little more bleach and reuse those trays. Usually, it only takes one or two days to get you to where you want.
Also, existing restorations will not change color during bleaching. This means that if you are going to have cosmetic work done, you need to bleach prior to any treatment.