To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

To Whiten or Not to Whiten?

Posted by Dr. Alicia Abeyta DDS FAGD on Dec 30 2020, 12:04 AM

To whiten or not to whiten your teeth is a question dentists get asked regularly.   Many patients wish their teeth were whiter, but are worried about health risks such as tooth sensitivity and damage to the teeth’s’ roots.

On the upside, dentists may be able to predict if you will experience any problems with or sensitivities related to a treatment. They can also recommend different treatments and toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth.

What causes teeth to become darker or yellowed?

  • Coffee, tea and other dark liquids
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products that contain tar
  • Not brushing your teeth often enough
  • Not brushing correctly
  • Tooth injury or trauma
  • Medications
  • Age
  • Dental Fluorosis

As a rule, teeth that have yellowed react well to whitening whereas brownish-colored teeth don’t react as well.

Treatment Options

One option is to have your dentist do the procedure.  Another option is an over-the-counter product. The biggest difference is the amount of bleaching agent used.  A dentist’s office, with training and experience,  will use a higher concentration of peroxide.

Many dentists, like Dr. Abeyta, will design custom bleach splints that are ready in a day. She will provide a special bleaching agent to put into the clear, nearly invisible splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, their special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way.

Once your teeth are as white as you want, only occasional treatments are needed to maintain your dazzling smile.

If you decide to use an over-the-counter product, be sure to follow the directions on the package very carefully.  Each one has its own guidelines for how long it should remain on your teeth and how often you should apply the whitener.

Other Considerations

While the American Dental Association considers teething whitening safe, it is generally not recommended for nursing mothers or pregnant women or nursing mothers.

Dr. Abeyta and her team can help you decide whether teeth whitening is right for you, and what approach might work best to get the smile you are looking for. Contact their office at (505)-293-7611 to learn more about their comprehensive, same day services. Remember your best defense is your daily oral health habits like brushing and flossing and yearly checkups and cleanings.

Happy Holidays from Dr Abeyta and her staff in Albuquerque, NM!

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