Is Teeth Whitening Right for You?

notebookWhitening one’s teeth is one of the most commonly requested forms of cosmetic dental treatments. Brighter, whiter teeth can be one of the simplest forms of improving your smile.

Tooth whitening is a process that lightens discoloration of the enamel and dentin of your teeth. There are a few methods of whitening such as strips, pens, gels, UV lights and lasers. The active ingredient in whitening products is hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The most common whitening products use a custom-fitted tray worn over your teeth.

Tooth discoloration is caused by many factors. Bacterial pigments, food, dark liquids (coffee, tea, cola, wine) and tobacco stain the surface of the teeth over time. Trauma, illness, nerve damage and nerve degeneration can also affect tooth color. Medications taken during tooth formation, such as tetracycline, may also cause tooth discoloration. Lastly, simply aging affects tooth color.

Most people can benefit from whitening treatments. We can determine if you are a viable candidate for the process through oral examination and diagnosis. Here at Queen Village Family Dentistry, we carry several products and can select the product that would work best for you.

Treatment Options

The demand for tooth whitening products has cause a proliferation of products on the market. There’s everything from strips you can buy at the drug store to elaborate laser treatments. Here at Queen Village Family Dentistry, we recommend using a whitening gel in trays customized to fit over your teeth. This allows us to give you the quickest results while reducing the risk of sensitivity. Today’s technology allows you to whiten your teeth comfortably and effectively.

How it works

The whitening gel is placed in a thin tray that fits over your teeth. As hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in the gel, is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin and removes the colored substances. Only the tooth color is made lighter, while the structure of the tooth is unchanged.

Research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide under the supervision of a dentist is safe for teeth and gums. In fact, many dentists consider this whitening process the safest cosmetic dental procedure available today.


Results are usually seen after the first application. Ideal results generally occur when the process is continued for 7 to 10 days in a row.

The teeth will always be lighter than they were. However, some patients may want to “touch-up” their teeth by re-whitening for one or two days, usually once or twice a year. This is especially useful if they continue to use staining substances such as caffeine or tobacco products.

Come in for a visit and let’s talk about what treatment options are best for you to obtain the bright, white smile you desire.

Talk to you soon, and Keep Smiling!

– Dr. Cabot