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Tooth Color and Whitening


Tooth color and whitening has grown to be one of the major concerns patients share when talking to a dentist.  It is always wise to talk to your dentist before moving ahead and trying to undo the years of stains (tobacco, tea, coffee, red wine,  aging, trauma and certain medications).  All of these can contribute to a less than Hollywood look to your smile.

Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter. 

It is important to talk to your dentist before moving forward because whitening does not work on all teeth. 

Here are 4 ways to put a little brightness back in your smile. 

  1. Stain Removal Toothpastes.  These do not change the color of the tooth but use abrasives to remove surface stains. Only use ADA approved products. ADA Seal of Acceptance 
  2. Chair-side Bleaching or In Office Bleaching is done in the dental office and changes the color of the teeth with bleach.  Protection of applied to the gums. Usually only one appointment can make a difference.
  3. At Home Bleaching from your Dentist is sometimes offered.  This would be under the dentist guidance and at slower pace.  The bleach and tray are sent home with the patient with instructions.  It is sometimes preferred because it can be done at home.
  4. Over the Counter Bleaching Products.  Here is a great guide when selecting a particular product.  Get a list of all ADA-Accepted at-home bleaching products. These products are not as strong as what the dentist would use in his office but can still offer a good product.  

Over use of some of these products can damage gums and/or enamel so always share your thoughts and concerns with your dentist who can guide you to healthy oral health. 

Northern Michigan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cares about your Oral Health. 

Always brush 2x a day and floss everyday.

Be Well, Be Healthy!