“Whitening” or “Bleaching” of teeth is an extremely popular service for patients. Often, patients will ask “Is it safe?”. Absolutely! We have been whitening/bleaching teeth for decades and the dental literature is very clear that no harm is being done to teeth and gums.
You might have noticed your teeth are getting darker or more yellow as you get older. Stains are commonly caused by the foods or drinks we consume daily. These include coffee, tea, soda, red wine, juice, spices and more. Other causes of staining include tobacco use and aging. Some medications, like tetracycline, can cause teeth to become stained. Treating discolouration from tetracycline can be a much tougher challenge.
“Yes” there are whitening toothpastes, mouth rinses, strips and gels available over the counter. Feel free to experiment with these products. If you are not getting the results you desire, ask about creating custom bleaching trays and using our dental office whitening gels for better results.
Words of caution. Only enamel will bleach! Crowns and composite(plastic) restorations will not lighten up and in fact may be more noticeable after whitening. Also, some patients will become more sensitive to cold after bleaching. Fluoride gels work well to alleviate this sensitivity.
What about laser bleaching? We have found and the dental literature supports that laser bleaching is no more effective than bleaching gel in custom trays.