Dr. Meena's Blog

Posts for category: Whitening

You may be tempted to buy over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, given their proliferation expecially on the Internet. Not only are they not made to fit your mouth exactly, it may be that bleaching isn't suitable for you, especially if you have gum disease or crowns. If your teeth are healthy and somewhat white, you may get a boost from such over-the-counter products, but again, they will not last long. The only home bleaching kits you should be using are the ones recommended by your dentist. The most important thing to look for in over-the-counter kits is that they fit the size and shape of your teeth. For example, whitening strips are straight across, while your teeth are curved. In addition, make sure that the at-home bleaching kits cover your whole tooth - otherwise you will have two toned teeth or irritated gums.

Professional tooth whitening from a dentist is always recommended. Your dentist will check for gum diseases, as well as loose fillings. She will be able to fit you for trays as well. In addition, she can monitor your teeth's response to the product - especially the reaction to your gums. A combination of in-office and at-home dentist prescribed whitening treatment will give you faster and longer-lasting results.  It can provide maximum whitening with minimal effort and time while ensuring safety and effectiveness.

By Dr. Meena
February 03, 2011
Category: Whitening

Most of the teeth whitening toothpastes work through the action of mild abrasives. All toothpastes contain a little abrasive material to improve their cleaning action. Whitening toothpastes contain additional polishing agents or abrasives with higher granularity. In both cases, the whitening toothpastes have higher abrasivity than normal toothpaste. The most common abrasive ingredients used in whitening toothpastes are silica, chalk and baking soda. Some of the more modern whitening toothpastes contain special chemical agents such as hydrogen peroxide similar to what is used for professional whitening, but in much smaller concentration. Care should be taken to ensure that the more powerful and abrasive whitening toothpastes are used infrequently.

The higher abrasivity of tooth whitening toothpastes is the main cause of side effects that arise from their use. Normal toothpastes recommended for everyday use have an Enamel Abrasion Value of 40-90, while the whitening toothpastes have a value higher than 100 and in some extreme cases over 250. Their abrasive action can reduce staining and yellowing of teeth but it can also damage the tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. The Consumer Affairs website has several complaints from people using such whitening toothpastes:

I recently purchased Creast Pro-Health toothpaste about a month ago. Shortly after my mouth became dry at night, gums bleeding and receding, teeth very sore, blisters in mouth, and skin peeling off the inside of my cheeks. I finally thought to see if there were any complaints with this toothpaste.

If you would like to use these whitening toothpastes, pay attention to the way you brush your teeth. Brushing incorrectly or too vigorously can lead to irreversible loss of tooth enamel. The damage can be much worse if you use a very abrasive whitening toothpaste. Finally, do not use a whitening toothpaste more often than it is recommended by the manufacturer, under the impression that quicker results could be achieved. The enamel loss caused by over-brushing could lead to severe tooth sensitivity or even tooth decay and tooth loss. Be especially careful if you already have a problem of sensitive teeth.

Before you start using any whitening product you should have a thorough examination by your dentist. Your dentist will need to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy before you start.

By Dr. Meena
January 20, 2011
Category: Whitening
Tags: whitening   smile  

Your smile is the first thing that other people notice about you. Whitening your teeth adds confidence to your smile - as your grand mother used to say, it all starts with the smile. A dazzling smile leaves a great first impression - a confident, bright smile is extremely important for a job interview.

Unfortunately, no one whitening system works equally well for all people. Some folks need the outside and inside (buccal and lingual) parts of their teeth to be whitened. For other people, going to bed with the whitening product inserted in their mouth may be more effective. Some may need only 30 minutes per day for 10 days for their teeth to be pearly white. Disposable take-home trays may be a good choice for such people. These trays are typically preloaded with the whitening product and inserted into the mouth. The thin membrane adheres to your teeth and remains securely in place for the 30-60 minute wear time. The bottom line is that one needs their teeth to be properly evaluated by a good dentist to determine which system would be the best option.

Before and After

Research has shown that the most effective and long-lasting whitening system is the take-home whitening kit. Over the counter whitening gels may harm the gums, if used incorrectly. In comparison with whitening strips, the take-home trays require far less dexterity. The trays are easy to put in, cover much more of the tooth than whitening strips, and are easy to wear. However, if you have extremely yellow teeth, you're better off going with a professional solution.