How Safe is Teeth Whitening?

Rumors of teeth whitening products wearing away tooth enamel and damaging teeth are enough to cause anyone concern.  But is safe teeth whitening there any truth to concerns about the safety of teeth whitening?

In general teeth whitening has proven to be very safe and effective.  However, it is valuable to explore how rumors of the negative effects of tooth whitening began in the first place, as well as a few cautions on the topic.

What is whitening gel made of?

There are two main ingredients used in almost all teeth whitening products: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. The stronger of the two chemicals is hydrogen peroxide and due to its strength, it is the ingredient typically used in higher concentrations in dentist supervised whitening treatments.

Since hydrogen peroxide can cause a chemical burn on the gums, dentists are careful to ensure the safety of gums and other sensitive tissues during the treatment.

Carbamide peroxide is the less intense of the two chemicals and therefore safer to apply. It is most often used in over the counter whitening treatments.

Potential side effects of whitening

Side effects can occur during whitening and can be made worse through improper use of whitening products.  Common complaints are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.  Following directions carefully can help minimize these problems when whitening at home, but if either of these symptoms occur it’s important to pay attention.

Fortunately there are teeth whitening options for patients with even the most sensitive teeth. Options could include building the tolerance of teeth over a period of time with fluoride treatments or exploring whitening systems that work better for people with sensitivity.

Where do rumors that teeth whitening is unsafe come from?

It is true that it is not advisable for pregnant or lactating women to use teeth whitening products. Otherwise, the reported problems associated with teeth whitening usually result from the misuse of over the counter products. Ultimately, whether using a home whitening treatment or having an in-clinic treatment, the dangers should be very minimal.

Common cautions include: using a whitening product more often than directed, or leaving the solution on longer than the instructions recommend.

Another issue with whitening products comes from whitening material entering into an unfilled cavity or crack in the tooth. To avoid this scenario, make sure you have a check-up with your dentist before starting the whitening process.

Conclusion

Now that you understand how teeth whitening works and some of the associated issues and concerns, you can start comparing whitening treatments. Consider getting your dentist’s opinion on the best way for you to whiten and to check any dental health issues that could possibly prevent you from getting the best results.

Should You See Your Dentist for Whitening?

As people of all ages seek a whiter, healthier looking smile, teeth whitening has emerged as the single most popular cosmetic dentalteeth whitening dentist nanaimo procedure in dentistry.

With all of the new developments in whitening, from whitening toothpaste to whitening gum and mouthwash, the question is, what is the difference between over the counter teeth whitening products and professional whitening at your dental clinic?

How does whitening work?

Over the counter whitening products work in a similar way to professional whitening in a dental clinic, but there are some major differences in the planning and approach, the concentration of whitening products, cost, and safety and application.

Planning and approach

One of the biggest challenges with whitening is that not all teeth stains and discoloration respond to the traditional bleaching approach.  Additionally, the look of your smile is effected by a number of other factors including the appearance of the gum-line, the straightness of your teeth and even the shape of the teeth.

Your dentist is trained to help you get the best results by selecting the right treatment method based on your situation. Your dentist may recommend teeth whitening alone or in combination with other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as Invisalign orthodontics, dental crowns or porcelain veneers.

In the end you will always have the final say in which treatments work best for your based on your time and budget, but you will avoid the frustration of one-size-fits-all treatments that may not be right for you.

Concentration of whitening gel

If you’ve tried over the counter whitening products, you know that you have to be consistent with their use and really patient if you want to see results.  One of the reasons why great results are often not achieved by over the counter products is that people do not stick with the process – which can be cumbersome, time consuming and uncomfortable.

Whitening at your dental clinic offers nearly immediate results. The primary reason for this is that a dentist is permitted to use a high concentration of bleaching gel to get whitening results that show immediately.

Over the counter whitening products cannot compete with the dramatic results achieved through high concentration, in-clinic whitening.

Safety and application

Another challenge with over the counter whitening products is the application.  Even if you take the time to read and carefully follow the directions, it can seem impossible to make the process smooth and comfortable.  Perhaps the trays or strips do not fit properly, or some of the whitening gel ends up on your tongue or gums.  All of this can make it hard to stick to the plan!

In clinic teeth whitening is done with customized applications to make sure that they fit and protect you.  Precautions are built in to the whitening process to make sure that whitening gel does not stay in contact with the gums, tongue or cheeks.

Tooth sensitivity is another common complaint when whitening.  Your dentist has the tools and knowledge to reduce tooth sensitivity and discomfort while you whiten.

Costs

In clinic teeth whitening services average in range from $300 – $500 while over the counter whitening products typically range from $40 – $120.  In the end, however, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

If you are looking for fantastic results in the shortest amount of time, your dentist is your best bet.  If you’re not sure if teeth whitening is for you, your dentist can also review your plans and discuss other options and factors that you may not have even considered. As a bonus, professional whitening usually includes some home maintenance products to help you keep your new, whiter smile even longer.

 

Teeth Whitening Tips for a Whiter Smile

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure in dentistry and every year millions of North Americans undertake to whiten and brighten their smiles.  We all know that having a white smile makes us look and feel younger – and in the end, a whiter smile makes us want to smile more often to show it off!

At Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group, we have several teeth whitening options to suit your needs and your budget – everything from in-office teeth whitening to smile makeovers.  We also have a great financing plan to help you achieve the smile you desire sooner.

We welcome you to book a consultation today to find out how we can help you. In the meantime, here are some tips that you can start using today to have the white, healthy smile you deserve!

Brush and Floss Regularly

The best thing you can do to keep you smile healthy and white is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Since plaque is one of the culprits that cause teeth to yellow, regular brushing and flossing help to remove plaque before it can give your teeth a yellow hue.

Flossing is extremely important and should not be overlooked. Up to 30% of your tooth surfaces are between the teeth, so it stands to reason that you can’t have a white smile without flossing!  Regular flossing helps to remove stains between teeth and make your smile whiter.

Whitening Floss

Whitening floss is a new product on the market.  Since we understand how important flossing is, why not whiten while you floss.

Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes provide more plaque removing benefit than just brushing by hand.  It’s a good investment in maximizing your time brushing and getting the whitest smile possible.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpaste is a bit of a misnomer, as toothpaste alone doesn’t whiten teeth.  It does, however, help scrub away stains before they settle in and discolor your enamel. Whitening toothpastes may be more effective at removing stains as they act to exfoliate plaque from the teeth.

Whitening Foods

Certain foods have been shown to stain teeth.  These include: red wine, berries, soy sauce, and curry.  While you do not have to avoid teeth staining foods altogether, it is a good idea to brush soon after ingesting them to reduce their ability to stain your enamel.

On the other hand, fresh and fibrous foods like celery, carrots, spinach, apples, and broccoli actually serve the function of removing stains by cleaning the teeth before deep staining can occur.

Eating cheese after a meal has been shown to help prevent cavities and promote enamel re-mineralization.  Healthy enamel is very important to tooth whitening as it protects the layer of the tooth called dentin which is the part that actually determines the color of your tooth. Strong enamel means a proactive barrier against yellowing of the teeth!

Time Your Brushing

To be effective, studies have shown that brushing should take at least two minutes. Time yourself and see if you’re brushing long enough.

We welcome you to read more about teeth whitening at Downtown Dental Group, in Nanaimo BC.  Please contact us to book an appointment – we look forward to meeting you soon!

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry has become a hot topic as both young professionals and baby boomers seeking to improve their smile, but it is a term that can mean different things to different people.

Some people associate cosmetic dentistry with looking younger – something like a dental facelift that can rewind the natural aging process of their teeth. Other people have developed a host of dental challenges that leave their teeth and smile needing a comprehensive approach rather than temporary fixes, and other yet, who have always felt self-conscious of their smile.

Much as cosmetic dentistry does not mean the same thing to everyone, a good cosmetic dentist offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers to Invisalign or braces.  In many cases, a combination of these dental techniques is required to deliver the best results.

Here are some examples of the most widely used forms of cosmetic dentistry in action:

Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in dentistry today. This fantastic dental procedure effectively provides a quick way for patients to achieve a beautiful white smile. There are several professional whitening procedures, both in office and at home which can be used to enhance your smile.

Composite Fillings

Traditional mercury fillings fail over time as the conditions of the tooth and mouth change. Worse yet, mercury fillings can crack otherwise healthy teeth as they expand and contract due to heat and cold. Newer, longer lasting composite fillings are a very effective replacement for old mercury fillings.  At Downtown Dental Group in Nanaimo, we only use composite fillings from the beginning!

Smile Makeover

A smile makeover is the ultimate restoration of your smile’s youthful appearance. A smile makeover encompasses all the necessary components of cosmetic dentistry for you to achieve a beautifully youthful and healthy smile.

The goal is to create a rejuvenated natural smile properly proportioned to your face. With advancements in cosmetic dentistry almost anything is possible. For example, crooked unbalanced teeth can be immediately improved through dental crowns or porcelain veneers.  This is known as “instant orthodontics”. Porcelain veneers are also often utilized to fix chipped and broken teeth and enhance the appearance of your natural smile.

Gum Therapy

A healthy smile is not just about healthy teeth, it’s about the overall health of your mouth and body. Using advanced ultrasonic Cleaning techniques, dentists are now able to combat bacteria growth and help the body use its own natural defenses to increase overall oral health. Treatments are also available to contour gum tissue to improve health or to reduce a “gummy” smile.

Neuromuscular Dentistry

Some smile improvements are not just cosmetic. Many of these treatments, such as neuromuscular dentistry, can improve bite problems such as over-bite, under-bite or cross-bite. When treated to maintain a proper jaw position, patients find a lifetime of jaw pain and headaches can be resolved in just a few appointments.

Which procedure is right for me?

Our dentists at our Downtown Nanaimo, BC, dental clinic can answer any questions you may have about techniques used to improve your smile. The condition of your teeth and results you seek often indicates the best procedure. We often give our patients a range of treatment options for best case scenario to short term or even temporary repair.  It’s always up to you to choose.

Contact us today to book an appointment or read more about cosmetic dentistry on our website!