tooth shade chart

What you should know before setting an appointment:

There’s no doubt that teeth whitening is by far the most popular cosmetic procedure performed by dentists today. Both men and women want to look their best and there are as many different whitening products as there are toothpastes.

But what if you want to have your teeth professionally whitened? Our goal at Indianapolis Teeth Whitening is to provide information that you must know before settling on a dentist.

A Quick Definition of Terms:

First let’s start with a definition of terms. Teeth whitening is anything that is done, including brushing and cleaning, to restore whiteness to your teeth. Of course, this might also include any number of over-the-counter whitening products such as Rembrandt toothpaste, Crest White Strips and even low strength bleaching systems (i.e., not to exceed 10-percent hydrogen peroxide).

The Food & Drug Administration, however, considers “teeth bleaching” to be whitening that is performed by a licensed professional, such as a dentist, in which whitening powerful whitening are used to rapidly whiten the teeth through an oxidative (bleaching) process.

The strength of hydrogen peroxide used in these procedures is typically around 35-percent. Dentists using such high concentrations of peroxide will apply a temporary protective coating to your gums to ensure they are not damaged in the process.

Carbamide Peroxide versus Hydrogen Peroxide:

No serious dentist will every use carbamide peroxide to perform an in-office teeth bleaching session. They may give you a carbamide peroxide gel for home use since that is safe and designed to work over longer periods of time without causing undue irritation to the gums.

graphical image of Celebrity Smile Teeth Whitening product

But when it comes to doing serious in-office, professional teeth whitening hydrogen peroxide wins hands-down. It is simply the most effective way to produce dramatic results fast.

You’ll want to confirm that your dentist does in fact use hydrogen peroxide and not carbamide peroxide before scheduling an appointment.

Intrinsic versus Extrinsic stains:

Extrinsic stains are the result of pigments and debris that, over time, are deposited on the outer parts of the teeth, and in between microscopic cracks in the enamel. Some may be embedded just far enough that they resist removal by brushing. Thus, teeth bleaching works very well and produces very good results insofar as extrinsic stains are concerned.

Intrinsic stains are the product of changes that take place on the inside of the teeth. The antibiotic, tetracycline, for example causes internal staining of the teeth which results in a grayish or darkened appearance. Even this type of tetracycline staining on teeth can be improved through modern technology, including some teeth bleaching products.

Who cannot benefit from teeth whitening?

Very few people cannot achieve at least some level of whitening. However, the major difference seems have to do with how thin your teeth are, which in turn, determined the translucence or opacity. In other words, the thicker your tooth enamel, the more pigment there is upon which a teeth whitening product may exert its effects. If your teeth are translucent, you will not achieve as much apparent whitening compared to someone with thicker teeth.

How to prolong/maintain Teeth Whitening:

Try to avoid foods that contain staining agents, such as various pigments and tannins, as these can lead to teeth discoloration. Foods like coffee, cola, red wine, and so forth should be used in moderation. Smoking should also be avoided. Avoid the use of drugs that are known for causing internal teeth staining, such as tetracycline.