Monday, April 27, 2009

Teeth Whitening Update for 2009

If you have ever considered whitening your teeth, there has never been a better time than now at Meiners Dentistry.

Teeth whitening has become a popular way to make your smile look brighter and your teeth to look younger and healthier.

Teeth whitening has been studied extensively and the American Dental Association has stated it is safe for teeth in an article you can read by clicking: here

We have made significant improvements in our whitening products over the last year.

Our options now include:

1) Crest Whitestrips Professional Supreme - These whitestrips are our most economical form of teeth whitening. This particular product is not sold in retail stores and is only available in dental offices. It is 43% stronger than the whitestrips you can purchase from retail stores. I have seen good results from this product for people that do NOT have sensitive teeth AND that are under 30. Why under 30? We've had adults over 30 attempt to use this product as well as admitting to have tried some of the retail products. The results are inconsistent and generally disappointing for this age group.

2) Teeth Whitening while you sleep - This is what 95% of our patients choose for their teeth. For this procedure, we take an impression (mold) of your top and bottom teeth and build a customized tray that fits your teeth precisely.

We recently received some continuing education on making these trays. Our new trays are now significantly more comfortable, have a more precise fit, and allow you to whiten your upper and lower teeth at the same time. The most important fact is that because these trays do a better job sealing OUT saliva and sealing IN the tooth whitener, our results have improved significantly. We have also dramatically altered the directions for whitening, adding steps and recommendations that all add up to better results. You can read about them here.

Do you have sensitive teeth?
Have you tried whitening in the past only to find your teeth were too sensitive to continue? We now have the answer! We have a new to the market whitening gel called Acquabrite that was made specifically for sensitive teeth. We have found the results to be marvelous, and that those who had struggled with whitening products in the past were now able to accomplish their treatment with little to no sensitivity to cold.

3) Deep Whitening - This is new technique in whitening that produces outstanding results. It combines night-time whitening with two visits of in-office power bleaching. The picture you see at the beginning of this blog entry is a patient that recently had his teeth Deep Whitened. Beginning with a visit of power bleaching, you then take home whitening trays and whiten for 2-3 weeks. Finally, we have a follow-up power bleaching visit. We have been able to take out years of the ill-effects of coffee drinking and smoking using this technique. Your smile will definitely look younger.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions I have on whitening:

1) Does whitening toothpaste work?

- Whitening toothpaste is often only called "whitening" because it has extra abrasives in it to brush off stain. So if your teeth are stained, it may "whiten". But if you are expecting color change, it is false hope.

- The BEST whitening toothpaste in my opinion is Rembrandt PLUS - it is the only toothpaste I know of with active whitener in it (9% Carbamide Peroxide). It is unlikely whiten your teeth alone, but it is the toothpaste we recommend for our whitening patients. In addition, it is not abrasive because it dissolves stains using papaya enzymes. Your teeth will feel very slick and smooth after using this toothpaste for a few weeks.

2) Do whitening mouthwashes work?

- The Listerine whitening mouthwash and the new Crest Whitening Mouthwash are both basically flavored hydrogen peroxide (just look at the ingredients). Mouthwashes are exposed to your teeth for about 1 minute. I have not had anyone yet show me actual results using this product.

3) Why don't you use the blue light (ZOOM) like on "Extreme Makeover" ?

- We choose products at Meiners Dentistry that have a significant amount of positive research and results behind them. All of the current literature shows that ZOOM lights produce a short term effect, and not a long term effect. Meaning if you were getting pictures tomorrow ZOOM would be a nice option because it provides good instant results. But most offices that provide ZOOM also give their patients trays to wear at night to sustain the result. And Zoom costs more to provide.

4) At what age is it safe to whiten your teeth?

- Once all of the permanent teeth are in place and the roots are developed it is safe. Meaning that it can be safe at ages as low as 14. However, we are VERY cautious with young people who want to whiten however, and use very low safe concentrations of the gel to insure their safety. Young teeth whiten EXTREMELY well though. Many of our teenage patients whiten their teeth after braces and get AMAZING results.

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