“Teeth whitening. For the whitest, safest, healthiest results, don’t try this at home.”
Have you been thinking about getting some type of cosmetic dentistry to refresh your look? Are you pretty firmly decided that you want to start by getting rid of the evidence from coffees, sodas and teas that have left more than a few stains behind? Have you looked at various home teeth whitening systems but still aren’t sure if they are effective or safe?
With so many options available, getting the facts can be tricky.
What should I know about teeth whitening?
Whether your cosmetic dentist in Santa Monica does it, or you prefer to use a drugstore home system, most teeth whitening involves the use of two common chemicals, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. They are used in different strengths and in various methods. Home kits can be anything from strips that adhere to your teeth, brush on whiteners or home tray systems.
A drugstore version can only provide subtle whitening after several weeks of use because the chemicals are more diluted than the gel that is offered by your dental professional.
Is teeth whitening safe?
All drugstore and professional methods available for whitening your teeth are deemed safe. There are, however, some side effects that can occur from using these chemicals.
The two most notable are gum irritation and an increased sensitivity of your teeth. This happens more often with home kits because it is harder to fully isolate the chemicals. The strips can slide around and come into contact with your gums, and the home tray systems allow the gel to leak because the trays do not fit well. This makes it possible for the bleach to escape and cause irritation.
What is different about professional teeth whitening with my cosmetic dentist?
Dr. Ana Brightleaf uses a more powerful gel, but there is an added buffer in the professional-strength solution that helps to protect the tooth enamel.
Additionally, she custom-fits the tray to your teeth. This helps to keep the chemicals from coming into contact with your mouth or gums. It is true that professional whitening is more expensive than what you would pay for a drugstore product, but the results give you significantly whiter teeth in about an hour and without the side effects.