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Teeth Whitening

You may simply improve your smile by whitening your teeth. The best results of whitening your teeth are done with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is the active whitening agent.  It is not the same stuff you get at the store in the brown bottle.  That's 2% hydrogen perioxide and at that percentage will only kill bacteria and not whiten teeth.  Also pay attention to the product before looking at the percentage of the product.  One-third of carbamide peroxide breaks down to hydrogen peroxide.  So 15% carbamide peroxide will break down or is equavelent to 5% hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is used in products desired to have a longer shelf-life.  At  Highland Heights Dental, we recommend 4 methods are available to brighten your smile. 

  • Over-the-counter methods - There are some over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions.  Beware of gimmicks that state they will whiten your teeth when all they are do is clean your teeth.  Look for products that contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These products actually whiten because they oxidize the internal stains.  Generally whitening toothpastes or rinses generally do not work.  The ADA has a list of approved whitening products.
     
  • Bleaching trays - Custom bleach trays are made in our office and fit snug against the teeth.  Gel is placed inside the trays before placing in the mouth.  This is the best option because they are custom to avoid damage to the surrounding teeth and the wasting of bleaching gel.  In our office, bleaching gel is less than the cost of over-the-counter products once the tray is made. The products we have in office are 20% (wear 2 hours for 5 to 10 days) and 35% (wear 30 minutes for 5-10 days).  These are carbamide peroxide. 
     
  • Opalescence Go - These trays are preformed. With no impressions or custom trays necessary, Opalescence Go is ready to use right out of the package.  We have 10% (wear 30-60 minutes for 5 to 10 days) and 15% (wear 15-20 minutes for 5-10 days).  Both are hydrogen peroxide.
     
  • In-office bleaching or Zoom whitening produce a brighter smile in a little over an hour. This is best if an immediate whitening is needed because we use 40% hydrogen perioxide.  At home bleaching can produce similar results through daily sessions with a custom bleach tray after 2 weeks. 

Some sensitivity may occur and results vary with the individual. The best method to maintain a healthy white smile is to avoid staining habits such as smoking or drinking dark sugary drinks, dark sauces, coffee, or tea.