man looking at smile after teeth whitening

Does teeth whitening really work? How do over-the-counter whitening products compare to dentist-administered treatment? Can people with sensitive teeth have their teeth whitened, or will it hurt?

In today’s blog, we’re going to explore the facts about teeth bleaching, or whitening, so you will have the information you need to make wise, informed decisions about which type of treatment is best for you.

To learn more about teeth whitening, or to schedule your appointment, call 908-200-7007 today. Walnut Pond Dentistry in Annandale, NJ offers cosmetic dental treatments, ranging from whitening to bonding to veneers.

Does teeth whitening really work?

For external stains, which are those discolorations picked up from foods, beverages, tobacco, and exposure to staining elements, chemical teeth whitening can be highly effective. In an oxidation process, whitening gels and bleaches lift stains from teeth so they can be rinsed away.

The result? Teeth can appear many shades whiter after one in-office appointment. The oxidation process continues after treatment, so you may notice lightening for a day or two following your appointment.

Home whitening kits prescribed by dentists also dramatically brighten teeth with external stains. For most products, the dentist creates custom-fitted mouth trays that you’ll take home and fill with whitening gel. Wear the trays for an hour or so each day, for up to two weeks. Both in-office and home whitening that a dentist offers are more effective than over-the-counter (OTC) products. This is due to a stronger bleaching agent in dentist-administered products.

Internal dental stains, like the harsh white lines of fluorosis or blue-gray appearance caused by tetracycline medications, do not always respond well to chemical teeth whitening. In these cases, a cosmetic dentist may suggest a veneer of composite resin or a porcelain veneer, to completely cover the discolored teeth.

What’s best – OTC or dentist whitening?

Only you know what results you want. Depending on the type, depth, and color of your dental stains, OTC or dentist-administered teeth whitening could deliver positive results. As stated earlier, any product or treatment you receive from the dentists at Walnut Pond Dentistry will be more potent than what you can buy over the counter. However, to maintain professionally whitened teeth or to usher you into what whitening can do, OTC products can be of value. If you try OTC kits, strips, or rinses and don’t get the results you’d hoped for, call us to schedule professional teeth whitening.

Will whitening cause my teeth to hurt?

People with sensitive teeth often shy away from chemical teeth whitening, out of fear of pain. In fact, if you have very thin enamel, chemical bleaching may cause irritation. You may be better served, all the way around, if you opt for composite or porcelain veneers. These cosmetic dentistry treatments will not only brighten your smile, but will add more insulation to your teeth, thus reducing sensitivity to temperatures and pressure.

Before you undergo whitening with one of our dentists, we’ll make sure that your mouth qualifies for the procedure. If you have receding gums, for instance, chemical bleaching shouldn’t be performed.

Our doctors cover gum tissue to protect it from the bleaching chemicals, and we take measures to reduce the potential for tooth sensitivity after whitening. However, if you know that your teeth are particularly sensitive, please tell the dentist at your appointment.

Let’s Talk About Whitening

Call Walnut Pond Dentistry in Annandale, NJ today at 908-200-7007 to schedule your teeth whitening consultation. The dentist will talk with you about all your concerns, explain treatment options, and answer your questions.