Which tooth color is natural? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

Which tooth color is natural?

White teeth belong to the beauty ideals and stand for success and self-confidence. However, most people have slightly yellowish teeth, but this is quite natural and it is not always due to unhealthy teeth or lack of oral hygiene.


Why do teeth discolor?

Certain eating habits and the daily enjoyment of tea, coffee, red wine or tobacco cause discoloration. In addition, lack of oral hygiene and some antibacterial mouthwashes cause discolorations. Use a mouth rinse and dental floss in your daily oral hygiene to get your white teeth. In addition, malnutrition, tooth decay or certain medications can lead to an unwanted change in teeth whitening.


How do I get whiter teeth? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

How do I get whiter teeth?

There are many ways to make your teeth appear whiter but you cannot change the actual color of your teeth without having a professional whitening. Keep in mind that all of these methods only help with light surface stains and are in no way a substitute for the professional results you get at a dental office.

Whitening Toothpaste

Surely you have seen many brands promising to whiten your teeth. They contain fine abrasive particles that act as a polishing agent to remove light surface stains. For some individuals, this is all it takes to make their teeth appear whiter. Because these kinds of toothpaste are slightly more abrasive, it is not advisable to use them on a regular basis.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are an inexpensive approach to whitening teeth. These strips are covered with a thin layer of low strength whitening gel that you adhere to your teeth. Results are limited.

Whitening trays

This is a true teeth whitening process that is accomplished using very specific chemicals. This can only be done by seeing a dentist. You could also have an in-office whitening that does not require trays.


What is tooth whitening? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

What is tooth whitening?

Your wedding is coming up, and you want your smile to be its brightest, or maybe you have an important speaking engagement. Whatever the reason, tooth bleaching is not just for movie stars and not just for one day. Many people have had their teeth bleached and probably millions more are thinking about it. The desire for a brighter smile with whiter teeth is very appealing, and tooth bleaching safely lightens the color of the teeth, lasting for many years with isolated touch-up applications. The most effective and safest method of tooth bleaching is dentist-supervised.

Generally, bleaching is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth bleaching if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow, brown or orange respond better to bleaching. Gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking, or tetracycline use can be lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal (gum) disease or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage bleaching.


How much does tooth whitening cost? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

How much does tooth whitening cost?

If you have asked around, you might have noticed that teeth whitening prices do vary greatly. The cost of your treatment depends on many factors, such as what brand of whitening agents are being used, how much care is being taken to fabricate the trays, and how difficult your teeth are to whiten. These are some of the questions you should ask your dentist.


Does tooth whitening work?

No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become. Every case is different. Typically, in most cases, the shade will improve. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved, the type of bleaching procedure, and your compliance. Bleaching can only provide a shift in color. Also, bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as bonding, crowns, or veneers. Make sure you discuss this with your dentist.


Do bleaching gels sold online work? Are they safe? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

Do bleaching gels sold online work? Are they safe?

You probably have noticed brand name whitening gels being sold online such as on eBay or Amazon, but are they actually safe? And how can the seller offer those for less than what the manufacturer sells those to dental offices?! And how did the online seller even managed to obtain those products when the federal law prohibits selling those to anyone but to a dental professional?

It is not so much about safety but rather what you are actually receiving. The online products were packaged at the same facilities that also sell those to dental offices. You probably assume that these must be of the same quality and work just as well. The answer is yes and no. Below is an explanation of how the seller managed to obtain those whitening gels in the first place.

Assume a reputable US company manufactures whitening gels to be sold in Europe. These will get packaged and shipped to Europe under ideal storage conditions. A year goes by and a bulk of the product does not get sold. This is when things take a turn. All of the leftover products get shipped back to the US. It is not clear what the shipping conditions will be. In order to cut down the cost, those gels will most likely be stored and shipped in less than ideal conditions, such as being stored in containers without proper temperature regulation where the inside temperature could climb to over 100 ̊F. The chemicals inside the whitening gels are sensitive and will deteriorate. Once the shipment makes it to the US, the content is distributed to small vendors. This is what we call products entering the “gray market”. These are products that are not supposed to be resold. These products will eventually make it to online stores. You as a buyer will have no way to know if what you are buying is actually of acceptable quality or not. For all you know, it could be an old product that sat in an unventilated, non-air-conditioned warehouse for months before being sold and delivered to your mailbox.

The point here is that you have no idea what you are buying. It may be an acceptable product. It may be an old and depleted whitening gel with low whitening potency. It is basically a gamble. Even if you do receive a good product, you will still need trays with excellent fit.


What gel strength is best? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

What gel strength is best?

Whitening gels come in a variety of concentrations, such as 10%, 15%, 20%, 35%. The general public assumption is that the highest strength provides the best and fastest results. If that were true, then why would the manufacturers bother producing a variety of strength types?

Those people with higher teeth sensitivity cannot tolerate the higher strength gels; therefore, a 10% or 15% strength would be ideal which should cause a lesser degree of sensitivity. And yes, the lower the strength the longer you have to wear the trays. For example, a 10% gel will need to be applied for 6-8 hours and a 35% gel for only 30 minutes. So common sense would tell you to apply the 35% if your teeth are not too sensitive. Why would anyone without sensitivity wear trays overnight when a 30-minute application is available?

The rule of thumb is that the faster you bleach the teeth the shorter the results will last. Slow bleaching may be of an annoyance but it will give you the most consistent, reliable, and longer lasting result.

The in-office systems utilize very strong gels that give you a great immediate result but they too have a shorter lasting result. The best way to whiten teeth would be a combination of slow take-home bleaching followed by a fast in-office bleaching. This procedure will give you the whitest and the longest lasting results possible.


Are over the counter systems effective? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

Are over the counter systems effective?

Over-the-counter bleaching systems are also available and are generally safe and effective, although it is best to check with your dentist before using these products. These systems, which come in the form of strips and gels, usually contain a lower strength of bleaching agent than products used in the dentist’s office. For this reason, they must be used longer to achieve the desired effect, but they are also cheaper. These will not be as effective as having a professionally done whitening.


Can I use my old bleaching trays?

It may not seem critical to you but the fit of the trays are very crucial. The saliva contains an anti-oxidant enzyme that destroys the whitening agent on contact. A very well fitted tray will keep the saliva out so the gel can do its job. If you have old trays, chances are they are not fitting well. Your dentist will be able to confirm this for you. If you are using ill-fitting trays, you are basically wasting the whitening gel. You may be under the assumption that you are whitening your teeth but, in fact, you are either getting a very little result or no result at all. A leaky tray that becomes contaminated with saliva will deactivate the bleaching agent within few minutes.


Is in office whitening using a light source more effective? | Lakeview Dental Procedures

Is in office whitening using a light source more effective?

If you have heard or noticed firsthand, some bleaching systems utilize a light source and others do not. What is the difference? A light source claims to be more effective. If so, why is it not used in all systems? The truth is that despite what you may have been reading or believing, there is not a single research document confirming that a light source will enhance the effectiveness of your treatment! Manufacturers do not promote their systems based on the light source. They know the light is nothing more than a marketing tool to sell their product. Not only does the light source not accomplish anything, in fact, it raises the temperature of your tooth by a few degrees just enough that it could cause unnecessary irritation. There are research documents confirming this finding. If you are getting whitening without a light source, rest assured that it will not have any impact at all on the whitening results.

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