If your smile is not as white and bright as you would like, Erik P. Cadra DMD can offer a solution. You could be on your way to a new brighter smile after your first visit. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures.
Home-use strips, trays, gels, and charcoal abrasives may increase whiteness slightly, but they do it only by removing surface stains. Bleaching is the most effective method for achieving significantly whiter teeth, and it is important to know the difference between using a home bleaching kit and having it performed by our team in our office.
The active ingredient is dental bleaching is peroxide. The peroxide must stay in contact with your teeth long enough to be absorbed by the enamel and dentin layers. It works by breaking up the molecular components of the stains. Home bleaching products usually contain between 3% and 10% peroxide, and the type used in a dentist’s office contains between 15% and 40%. The higher the concentration, the faster the results.
The use of peroxide requires careful monitoring to avoid damage to your teeth and gums. Even weaker home bleaching products must be used with caution. As you might expect, higher concentrations of peroxide are capable of causing damage in a shorter time period. The longer the product is kept on your teeth, the whiter they become. For the most dramatic whitening results, which can be up to eight shades whiter, you will need several office visits, each one lasting from 30 minutes to one hour.
Ultraviolet, or UV light alone does not whiten your teeth. Neither does blue light, or any other part of the visible spectrum. However, when used in combination with a peroxide method of treatment, certain applications of light can result in an accelerated speed of whitening. When the light is focused at the teeth it acts as an additional catalyst, which speeds up the effect of the peroxide. This can result in a shorter treatment time.
Irresponsible home use of UV light on or near your face comes with its own set of risks and dangers. Your oral soft tissues are sensitive, and UV burns from home applied treatments are a real possibility. Overexposure to peroxide can also cause dental dehydration and painful oversensitivity. In some cases, soft tissue lesions, inflammation of mucous membranes, or bleeding gums can result. For these reasons, teeth whitening is best administered by our skilled specialists.
Post Whitening Care
After your whitening treatment, you will be advised not to eat any foods which have intense color, such as blueberries, anything with tomato sauce, red wine, or coffee. This is because freshly whitened teeth will readily absorb stains. After a few days, you may resume your normal food selections.
The main side effect from peroxide bleaching is an increased sensitivity to temperature. This too will subside over time. You will most likely want to avoid cold drinks for a time or use a straw to avoid contact with your teeth.
Our team at Erik P. Cadra DMD can evaluate your oral condition and determine if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. Call us at 661-502-6990 to find out if dental bleaching is right for you.