Not Mellow with Yellow

I have recently become obsessed with teeth whitening ever since I got my adults braces off last year.  Yes, I was that chick at 26 years old with adult braces but that is a whole other discussion.  Since, my obsession with teeth whitening, my friends have often been comparing me to Ross Geller who in an episode of Friends bleaches his teeth to the extent they look ridiculous.  Great friends, huh?  However, what are the facts and myths about teeth bleaching?  Let’s find out.

What is making my whitening trays work?

First of all, the fit of the tray is critical to the success of treatment.  The tray impressions are made by your dentist and are accurate models of your teeth.  This may be a ‘no brainer’, but you cannot use someone else’s trays.  Plus, that is kind of gross, really.

Once you get out your whitening gel syringe and fill your mouth trays, the active ingredient in the gel, carbamide peroxide, allows oxygen to enter the enamel and bleaches the colored substances.  This makes only the tooth lighter and whiter, not fillings, crowns and bondings.

Beauty is pain, but how safe is whitening?

People have been whitening since the 80’s and dentists have known for years that tray whitening is a safe way to whiten teeth 2 – 5 shades in a matter of days.  Most people report only minimal increased sensitivity to cold.  However, these symptoms go away when whitening is discontinued.

How Does the Tray whitening compare to over-the-counter whitening strips?

Over the counter whitening strips are coated with Hydrogen Peroxide and have been proven to work.  However, results typically only show a 1 – 2 shade improvement and in most cases only the front teeth are lightened while the back teeth remain dark.

How long will whitening results last?

While treatment is long-lasting, exposure to coffee, smoking, red wines and some medicines will darken teeth overtime.  After initial treatment, most people will do a one day touch-up every three to six months.

If you are self-conscious about the color of your teeth, call us at 317-253-8631 and ask about teeth whitening.  Just make sure not to get too hooked or your FRIENDS may start calling you Ross Geller too!  Happy whitening!

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