Tray-Based Take Home Tooth Whiteners
Whitening is not recommended or will be less successful in the following circumstances:
- Age and pregnancy issues. Bleaching is not recommended in children under the age of 16. This is because the pulp chamber, or nerve of the tooth, is enlarged until this age. Teeth whitening under this condition could irritate the pulp or cause it to become sensitive. We at Quince Orchard Dental Care do not recommend teeth whitening to pregnant or lactating women.
- Sensitive teeth and allergies. Dr. Rouhanian discourages Individuals with sensitive teeth and gums, receding gums, and/or defective restorations in using a tooth-whitening system. Anyone allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) should not use a bleaching product.
- Gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots. Individuals with gum disease or teeth with worn enamel are generally discouraged from undergoing a tooth-whitening procedure.
- Cavities need to be treated before undergoing any whitening procedure. This is because the whitening solutions penetrate into any existing decay and the inner areas of the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Also, whitening procedures will not work on exposed tooth roots, because roots do not have an enamel layer.
- Fillings, crowns, and other restorations. Tooth-colored fillings and resin composite materials used in dental restorations (crowns, veneers, bonding, bridges) do not whiten. Therefore, using a whitening agent on teeth that contain restorations will result in uneven whitening. Any whitening procedure should be done prior to the placement of restorations. Individuals with numerous restorations may be better off considering bonding, veneers, or crowns rather than a tooth whitening system. Ask Our Dentists at Quince Orchard Dental Care what strategy is best for you.
- Smoker’s expectations. Smokers need to be aware that their results will be limited unless they refrain from continued smoking, particularly during the bleaching process.
- Darkly stained teeth. Yellowish teeth respond well to bleaching, brownish-colored teeth respond less well and grayish-hue or purple-stained teeth may not respond to bleaching at all. Teeth that have dark stains may be better candidates for another lightening option, such as veneers, bonding, or crowns. Your dentist can discuss the options best suited for you.
Risks Associated With Teeth Whitening
The two side effects that occur most often with teeth whitening are a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, particularly the gums. Tooth sensitivity often occurs during early stages of the bleaching treatment. Tissue irritation most commonly results from an ill-fitting mouthpiece tray rather than the tooth-bleaching agent. Both of these conditions usually are temporary and disappear within one to three days of stopping or completing treatment. If you do experience sensitivity, you can reduce or eliminate it by:
- Wearing the tray for a shorter period of time (for example, 30-minute sessions vs. 60-minute sessions).
- Stop whitening your teeth for two to three days to allow teeth to adjust to the whitening process.
- Brushing teeth with a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain potassium nitrate, which helps soothe the teeth’s nerve endings.