Teeth Whitening FAQ

I’ve created a list of frequently asked question that I receive on this website.

Is Teeth Whitening a common cosmetic dentistry procedure?

Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic dentistry procedure used to lighten or whiten the shade of the teeth. Every year thousands if not millions of people combine to spend over $10 billion on cosmetic teeth whitening procedures.

Is Teeth Whitening ideal for all people?

Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy gums and teeth, with no fillings.  If you have a lot of problems with tooth decay and/or sensitivity or have a lot of restorations, crowns, bridges etc, you should consult your dentist before bleaching your teeth. Teeth with yellow tones respond best to whitening.

Is Teeth Whitening permanent?

Teeth whitening is usually not permanent, teeth often darkens again over time.  Tooth bleaching works by removing the organic materials in the enamel by dissolving them with a peroxide derivative. Also, teeth whitening is more effective if there is a lot of enamel.

What is the easiest ways to improve the overall look of your smile?

Teeth Whitening is one of the easiest ways to improve the overall look of your smile. Once the preserve of movie stars, it is now both affordable and readily available, and there are quite a few options to choose from. Teeth whitening can give you a winning and confident smile with only one or two visits to your dentist.

Is Teeth Whitening a popular procedure?

Teeth whitening is extremely popular and the top cosmetic dentistry procedure in America.  It is also increasingly popular in the UK and other countries worldwide.  Aside from the millions of in-office whitening that happen each year there are also a barrage of teeth whitening products available at local drug stores for at-home application.

Teeth whitening can be such a boost to self-esteem, but it is very important that you be informed before committing to the procedure. While it is generally considered to be very safe and painless, every consumer should be aware of the possible risks and dangers of teeth whitening.

Why is Teeth Whitening becoming more popular today?

Teeth whitening is becoming more popular today because for starters, the embarrassment that comes with having teeth that are not white is one that most people would like to keep away from. A newly born child tends to have white teeth but as they grow older, the teeth undergo some changes and eventually at some point in their lives they will require teeth whitening to regain the original coloring of their teeth. It has also become a fashion trend with models and movie stars all having a whiter than white smile.

Can Teeth Whitening be done at home?

Teeth whitening can be done at home and it is no longer required to visit a dentist to have white and healthy teeth. You should just proceed with caution as there are some risks involved when whitening your teeth.

Can the natural color of your teeth be whitened or does teeth whitening only remove stains?

Teeth whitening can be a highly effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth, not removing any of the tooth surface. It can not make a complete colour change; but it will lighten the existing shade.  You will get a better result if you get any superficial stains removed before bleaching your teeth.

Teeth whitening is an excellent way to get a white, radiant smile. There are lots of success stories, but just like anything else, there are teeth whitening side effects. Teeth whitening is sure to continue to grow in popularity due to its effectiveness. Regular visits to your dentist will help in the lasting success of your tooth whitening and to limit problems.
According to a report published in the British Dental Journal in April 2005, nearly all of whitening approaches today work, because the most significant factor in the effectiveness of any bleaching or whitening treatment is concentration of the agent and the exposure duration.

Can whiter teeth improve the way that others see you?

Yes, it can improve the way that others see you, and can cast you in a more professional light. With so much good that can come of it, teeth whitening is definitely worth a try.

Is relatively safe and painless for most people?

Teeth whitening is as common as it is popular today and relatively safe and painless for most people. But as with anything it does pose some risks and there are a few things to bear in mind before you decide to give teeth whitening a try. Please see my article on ‘failed teeth whitening’.

Is Teeth Whitening safe for people who smoke or drink too much?

No, teeth whitening is not safe for people who smoke or drink too much. High intake of hydrogen peroxide (bleach) can make these people more vulnerable to adverse after-effects of alcohol. Pregnant women should also avoid bleaching products.

Is Over-the-counter products ok to use?

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic improvement, but there issues that need to be understood in attempting teeth whitening. Most dentists agree that the standard, over-the-counter teeth whitening products available are safe to use as long as the product is used as directed, including the limitation of frequency of use. There are no guarantees of whitening effectiveness if products are used incorrectly and they can be harmful with over-use.

Should my teeth be whitened at home or by a dentist?

Teeth whitening can be done in the privacy of your own home or the office of your favorite cosmetic dentist.  When done by a dentist the result are usually quicker but can be very expensive. You have plenty of choice with the at home methods, these include natural teeth whitening methods and over the counter remedies, such as teeth whitening strips, gels and bleaching using moulds either custom made or boil and bit trays.

Is Teeth Whitening simple to perform?

Teeth whitening is simple to perform. In the first step, the dentist will determine if teeth whitening procedures are a good option in your case by performing an examination. If he believes that whitening procedures are a good option for you, he’ll proceed with the procedure.

Is Teeth Whitening in great demand in United States these days?

Teeth whitening is in great demand in United States these days. A huge population of teenagers, youngsters and even grown-ups are customers of dentists for whitening their teeth. Zoom! Whitening, Tooth Veneers, Porcelain Veneers now became household names.

Is it an awful experience to whiten your teeth?

Teeth whitening can be fun, and once you realize how easy it is you will never have yellow teeth again. I always say that you should do some of your own due diligence before buying anything online just to be on the safe side. There are companies that even offer free trials which is good because you get to see how it works without having to pay for it up front.

Is Teeth Whitening one of dental cosmetic’s most in-demand procedures?

Yes,  is one of dental cosmetic’s most in-demand procedures. It enhances our smile as it whitens the teeth from discoloration. At present, performing it is not limited to dental offices. Services and products specializing on these can now be availed in any beauty shops or drug stores. However this has caused most consumers to be confused in selecting the best teeth whitening for them, especially those who will be doing it for the first time.

Can Teeth Whitening also cause what is known by dentists as ‘Technicolor’ teeth?

Teeth whitening can also cause what is known by dentists as ‘Technicolor’ teeth. This is if the person has dental restorations, veneers, crowns, or caps, these are not able to be lightened so if the person undergoes a whitening treatment with these it will result in having multicoloured teeth as the tooth’s natural shade will stay the same while the natural teeth are lightened. If you have dental work and want to try lightening it, it is best to seek advice from a dentist to look at other methods of brightening up your smile.

Is Teeth Whitening about more than a brighter smile?

Yes, whitening your teeth is certainly about more than a brighter smile; whiter teeth looks like healthier teeth and can attract the kind of positive attention you are looking for in all areas of your life.  Consider the level of whitening you are looking for and the overall health of your teeth before choosing the  whitening products  that are right for you.

Is Teeth Whitening a a permanent solution and can begin to fade?

Teeth whitening is a not a permanent solution and can begin to fade in as little as one month. There are certain foods and beverages that will stain the teeth, like coffee, tea, and soda. If you avoid these foods, your teeth will stay whiter for much longer. Other factors that effect how long your teeth stay white include the nature of the stain, the type of bleaching system used, and the condition of your teeth before you began the whitening process.

Do I need bleaching chemicals to whiten my teeth?

Teeth whitening can be done in two ways: using a bleaching chemical or using a non-bleaching based chemical. The dentist can easily do this and you also have the option to try it out at home, which will be less costly. If you do not want to use strong bleaching chemicals, see my article about natural teeth whitening.

Isn’t Teeth Whitening  just all about vanity?

No, teeth whitening is about more than vanity, it’s also about confidence– the whitening process will help you feel better, and your teeth will look brighter and healthier. Making your smile look better can be done professionally or in the comfort of your own home. There are many teeth whitening products available, and they are offered in different applications methods, so you will be able to find the one right for your personal situation.

Is Teeth Whitening an invasive procedure?

No, it is not an invasive procedure, but it does present some risks, especially if you don’t take extra care before undergoing the treatment. The two common risks associated with whitening procedures are irritation of your gums and increased sensitivity of your teeth. These side effects are temporary, however. They should be gone in about a couple of days after completing the treatment. Make sure that you do not have dental cavities before bleaching your teeth.

Is Teeth Whitening really a treatment?

If a specific tooth has discolored after trauma or an abscess, it could be considered a treatment, but usually it is seen  more of a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Therefore medical insurance companies are usually not willing to pay for teeth whitening.

Apart from whiter teeth, does teeth whitening have other benefits?

Teeth whitening can have a lot of subtle effects on a person. Having a smile that is effectively much brighter and cleaner looking than that of a normal person brings with it confidence, a better general outlook, and many other advantages that can benefit your interaction with other people, not to mention a generally uplifted spirit. The best part of this, though, is the fact that perhaps the best teeth whitening methods can simply be found among the things you use in your own home.

Is it hard to bleach your teeth at home?

Teeth whitening is a very simplified procedure now. You can use the bleaching kit at home without anyone’s help. You just need to put some bleaching solution in the tray that is placed against the stained teeth. As you remove the mouth tray, you get a shining white set of teeth. This procedure should be repeated a few times before you get the whitening effect up to your expectations.

Is Teeth Whitening and bleaching teeth the same thing?

Teeth whitening is also known as bleaching teeth, although whitening your teeth can include things like a  professional cleaning in order to remove staining before a bleaching agent is used. Nowadays, it is becoming popular option for the people who are seeking glittering smile. According to a latest survey, 74% of the adults believe that having less than a perfect smile could spoil the success in their career. Almost 100% of the adults surveyed said that it is important to have good smile to lead a good social life. About 96% of the adults said that good smile is very much essential to make good impression on opposite sex. It is of no wonder that the professional teeth bleaching has grown into a very huge industry a year after year.

Are Teeth Whitening risky and they have side effects?

Yes, teeth whitening are risky and they have side effects, especially if instructions are not followed correctly. The two consequences that happen most frequent are: the temporary increase in the sensitivity of the tooth and the mild irritation of the tender tissues in the mouth, principally the gum. Tooth sensitivity frequently happens during early phases of bleaching management. Tissue irritation is normally is the outcome of bad-fitting mouthpiece than the teeth whitening agents. The two conditions normally are temporary and will disappear after one to three days of completing or stopping the treatment.  See the article on failed teeth whitening for a lot more information on this subject.

Is Teeth Whitening a dental procedure that must be done by the professional practitioners?

Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that is often done by the professional practitioners. When done under the supervision of a dentist, it becomes safe and gentle. The entire duration of the process normally takes an hour or two in-office and sometimes a take-home whitening kit to use for another two weeks. The factors that would determine the length of time for the procedure to be done include the source, the intensity of the discoloration, and its type. The results however become visible in a matter of days right after it has been started.  However, teeth whitening can be done without the help of a dental practitioner.

Isn’t teeth whitening just a money making industry?

Well, I must admit that teeth whitening is a multi-billion dollar industry in the world today, but it does provide a valuable benefit to people. Very white teeth contribute to self-confidence and are part of what represents beauty in the 21st century. Teeth whitening is essentially a cosmetic dental procedure whether it is done at home or in the office. It will lighten discoloration resulting from smoking, tea, coffee, or the use of some antibiotics. Teeth whitening can be achieved using a variety of techniques. The American Dental Association recommends that all teeth whitening techniques be used under the supervision of a dentist.

How do they manage to bleach teeth?

Teeth Whitening is a procedure to whiten teeth by applying a solution of hydrogen peroxide to the outside surface of teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is also known as bleach. Now you know the secret behind ‘whitening’. Most people have their teeth whitened for a brighter smile.  You should also be aware that having hydrogen peroxide for longer periods in your mouth can do damage to your teeth. In addition to this, sensitive teeth may experience some side-effects after the treatment, but that can be cured.

Is Teeth Whitening now something people does as a matter of routine?

Teeth whitening is now something a lot of people do as a matter of routine. Beauty treatments more often than not today include creating a perfect smile, i. e. teeth whitening. There are many methods available, each one better than the last since the latest technology is applied with every new product. The results with the chemical bleaches are fast and dazzling. Nonetheless, today the global market is shifting towards natural products.

Is Teeth Whitening a cosmetic procedure only suitable for people who have a set of healthy teeth?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure best suited for people who have a set of healthy teeth, but it can be used successfully by people with restorations and other dental problems, as long as it is done under the supervision of a dentist.   The dentist will inform you if bleaching your teeth is not a good idea.

People with yellow teeth are known to respond better because the transformation from yellow to white is evident. There are many whitening solutions that are available in the market today. These are over-the counter gels, whitening toothpastes, strips, rinses and also whitening agents that are obtained from a dentist. Anyone who wants one of these whitening solutions will first of all need to check on the most suitable for his/her own type of teeth. Let us look at the different teeth whitening solutions and see what each of them has got.

Is Teeth Whitening completely effective?

Teeth whitening is completely effective in more than 78% indicated by research. Patients with discolored teeth due to smoking, age or other staining factors can greatly benefit from teeth whitening. Tooth whitening is not permanent, and works by eliminating the organic compounds in the enamel by dissolving them with a peroxide derivative. Teeth whitening is more effective if there is lots of enamel. The safest and most effective method of tooth whitening is the dentist supervised procedure. An alternative method to professional tooth whitening is using a teeth whitening system or kit.

Is Teeth Whitening comparatively safe?

Teeth whitening is comparatively safe.  On the minus side, however, it can be a little costly. But there are a number of alternative options. One such option is to use an at-home whitening kit. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it but you will get very good results with it.

Is Teeth Whitening worth the trouble?

It really depends on the patient and his/her needs and expectations.  If  you do have very dark/ discolored teeth that bothers you, whitening them will certainly worth the trouble.  I have seen patients who’s teeth were already beautiful and white and was disappointed with the bleaching results as they had unrealistic expectations.

Is Teeth Whitening an ongoing process if you want to keep the nice shade of white?

Teeth whitening is an ongoing process if you want to keep the nice shade of white.  You must maintain good oral hygiene and you may need a whitening top-up every few months/years.

 Is Teeth Whitening only available through your dentist?

Teeth whitening is not only available through your dentist.

Is Teeth Whitening done once only; to achieve lasting whiteness?

No, teeth whitening is not done once only; to achieve lasting whiteness, proper maintenance is essential. The best results come when whitening is carried out by your dentist. You may wish to have your teeth bleached or whitened. Bleaching involves whitening teeth beyond natural color, with bleach containing products: hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Whitening means the surface cleanliness is restored by removing dirt tartar etc.

 Will Teeth Whitening work on artificial teeth or surfaces?

If you are considering having your teeth lightened, bear in mind that just natural teeth can be bleached. Teeth whitening will not work on artificial teeth or surfaces. This includes implants, veneers, fillings and crowns. If you undergo a teeth whitening procedure regardless of having these artificial surfaces in your mouth, these surfaces will stay their original shade while your natural teeth appear whiter.

Can Teeth Whitening be repeated safely?

Although patients of many Minneapolis dentists often voice these concerns, there is no need worry about the safety of these treatments. The only side effect that is caused by these procedures is sensitivity to temperature that goes away after one to two days. Teeth whitening can be repeated safely up to every six months in order to enjoy a young, healthy smile.

Can Teeth Whitening be done at home even without the presence of a dentist?

Yes, teeth whitening can certainly be done at home even without the presence of a dentist. Whitening gels can be found at local drug stores and it comes in many forms. One such form is a whitening pen. I ordered a whitening kit on the internet that truly helped whiten my teeth in an instant, so yes, you can do this.

Is Teeth Whitening used by celebrities?

Teeth whitening is the hottest buzz nowadays. You see it advertised on billboards, on TV commercials, even on magazines – beautiful women and handsome men showing off their dazzlingly white teeth. People are becoming more and more health conscious, and more concerned about their appearance, even through the teeth. Everyone is starting to try out different ways to achieve those oh-so-coveted pearly whites, but how exactly do you do it but not get bankrupt at the same time?

Is Teeth Whitening a process that uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide?

Both hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide can be used in different percentages to bleach teeth. Some procedures are highly effective, while some take longer to produce the desired effects. Most people choose a teeth whitening method based on the terms that are most suitable to them. The factors that influence this decision most often are two (i) quality of the product/ method and (ii) cost of the product/ method.

Can Teeth Whitening last for a long time?

Stains on your teeth can happen due to a variety of lifestyle and health conditions. Some of the most common causes for staining of teeth are excessive intake of tea, coffee, tobacco products, cola, red wine and some other medical conditions. Teeth whitening are one of the most common dentistry procedures undertaken by people to change their overall appearance. Teeth whitening can last for a long time depending on the lifestyle adopted by the person who has undergone the teeth whitening procedure.

Do they use Hydrogen Peroxide only for teeth whitening?

Hydrogen peroxide is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and two of oxygen. It takes the form of a clear liquid resembling water but it functions as an oxidizer – a chemical that breaks down into oxygen. Because of this it is has many applications in cleaning and bleaching. For example, it is used to sterilize wounds and bleach hair. Teeth whitening is just one of the many uses of this chemical.

Is Teeth Whitening perfectly safe?

The common methods of peroxide-based teeth whitening cannot damage your teeth, but it shouldn’t be used in too high concentrations and according to instructions.  Some people may experience temporary side effects such as sensitive teeth or gum irritation. In most cases, gum irritation isn’t even related to the whitening formula, but instead is caused by a tray that doesn’t fit the mouth properly. What’s the bottom line? Teeth whitening is safe. In fact, the American Dental Association even has an official statement recognizing its safety and effectiveness.

Will Teeth Whitening require multiple repetitions of whitening over a lifetime?

Expectations that teeth whitening will last indefinitely, regardless of the level of whitening achieved, is also unreasonable. Teeth naturally darken with age, but in addition, our habits with regard to eating, drinking and smoking have darkening effects as well. Both aging and staining by consumables will have their effect on darkening teeth that have been whitened. We cannot halt aging, but we can limit or eliminate our consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, cigarettes, etc. , and the whitening effort will endure longer. Teeth whitening will require multiple repetitions of whitening over a lifetime.

Is Teeth Whitening a new thing?

Teeth whitening isn’t a new thing. In fact, there’s a reason why there’s a distinction between normal teeth whitening and professional teeth. Bright smiles are usually associated with fine hygiene and health after all. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to look the part. Yellowing of the teeth occurs naturally or due to stains from several habits, such as drinking liquids such as coffee and smoking cigarettes or cigars.

Can Teeth Whitening be done to take care of stains?

Don’t we all wish for a brighter smile? But as our age increases the mineral structure of our tooth changes so that teeth become darker. The tooth enamel becomes less porous with age. This also leads to staining of teeth. Lifestyle choices like intake of alcohol or tobacco affect the color of the teeth. Teeth whitening can be done to take care of this problem.

Can toothpaste help to whiten teeth?

Teeth whitening is a simple and hassle free method for anybody to have shiny white teeth. Use of teeth whitening toothpaste is the most common method used for teeth whitening. There are many types of toothpaste available in the market to help you. However always take care to use toothpastes which are recognized by the American Dental Association. You will have to use the toothpaste for a considerable amount of time to get the desired amount of whitening.

Is Teeth Whitening a 100% safe procedure when done under a dentist’s supervision?

I do not think any procedure can be classified as 100% safe, although a lot of dentists/websites will claim that it is.  There are always risks (see article on failed teeth whitening). Whitening of the teeth can be done in a dental clinic or at home. In the dental clinic or in-office bleaching, a whitening gel is applied on the surface of the teeth and sometimes a beam of light is used to activate the whitening process.  The result of at home bleaching is slow when compared to an in-office system. Teeth whitening is usually a safe procedure when done under a dentist’s supervision. Poor quality materials used for teeth whitening may corrode the tooth surface and causes burning of tissues. A few people experience teeth sensitivity while bleaching. This subsides by itself in 1-2 days after bleaching. There are no long term side effects to teeth whitening reported. The result of teeth bleaching varies from person to person depending on the intensity of staining. Whitened teeth can stay brighter for a longer period depending on the food and personal habits.

Is Teeth Whitening generally recommended for pregnant ladies or people under the age of 16?

Teeth whitening is generally not recommended for people under the age of 16. During this stage, a person’s dental nerves are enlarged and the procedure could irritate them and result in hyper-sensitivity. Severe pain might be experienced and the future health of the person’s teeth would be compromised.

Pregnant women are also advised against teeth whitening since the active ingredients contained in the bleaching products may be absorbed in the mother’s body and harm the unborn child. In fact, the procedure should be completely avoided until the baby is born and weaning is complete.

Is Teeth Whitening an option for discolored teeth?

Do you have discolored teeth? Are you afraid to give a broad smile in front of others? If yes, there is a reason to panic. However, a number of options are available today and so you can stop worrying. Modern dentistry has made available many options for improving beauty. Teeth whitening is one of those options. Today, different types of teeth whitening products are available in the market. By using these products, you can restore the color of your teeth and get a beautiful smile which you can be proud of.

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