Teeth Whitening Specialist

Community Smiles

Cosmetic Dentistry & Family Dentistry serving the areas of Elizabeth, Hillside, NJ, Union, NJ, & Newark, NJ

Teeth Whitening Q&A

Does Teeth Whitening Damage My Teeth?

There is no evidence that professional teeth whitening procedures cause any damage to the tooth’s enamel or nerve. Studies have shown that the hardness of the enamel is not affected by whitening treatments over many years. These studies also indicate that whitening does not lead to damage to the tooth’s nerve or correlate to a root canal. Damage is also not observed to crowns, fillings, bonds, veneers, or bridges, however these false teeth do not whiten, so they may need to be replaced to match the new whiteness of your natural teeth.

What Is The Difference Between Over-the-counter And Professional Whitening Treatments?

There are major differences between over-the-counter and professional teeth whitening treatments. To begin, over-the-counter treatments, such as whitening strips or toothpaste, usually result in little to no noticeable color change in teeth. These products contain a lower strength bleaching agent that equates to three percent hydrogen peroxide. Professional treatments that are applied by dentists range from 15 to 43 percent hydrogen peroxide. The higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide is why professional dental whitening procedures are so much more effective and result in visible results. Professional whitening is also safer as dentists will protect your gums with gel or shields, while over the counter treatments have no protective measures.

Do Everyone’s Teeth Whiten The Same Amount?

No, whitening does not work to the same extent on all teeth. The results of whitening procedures vary from person to person. The type of stain also affects how well the whitening process works. Yellow-ish stained teeth respond the best to whitening treatments, while brown-ish teeth don’t respond quite as well, and grey-ish may not respond at all. Unfortunately, not all teeth are a blinding white color after a whitening procedure. If whitening does not work, dental restorations might be a better choice. It is also important to note that fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and any other dental implant do not whiten. If someone with dental implants gets their natural teeth whitened, it will result in uneven whitening. Community Smiles Dentist can guide you on the best strategy for even whitening.

Who Should Not Get Their Teeth Whitened?

People in various life stages and with different conditions should not get their teeth whitened. First, teeth whitening isn't recommended to children under the age of 16. In children, the nerve of the tooth is larger and can be irritated, resulting in teeth sensitivity. The second group of individuals not recommended to get teeth whitened are women who are pregnant or lactating. Additionally, individuals allergic to the whitening agent peroxide should not do teeth whitening treatments. People with teeth or gum issues should discuss whitening with a Community Smiles Dentist before using over-the-counter whitening or receiving professional whitening; it may increase sensitivity or exacerbate the problem already present. These conditions include receding gums, gum disease, worn enamel, cavities, and exposed roots. Before being whitened, cavities need to be treated so that the whitening agents do not go into where the decay is and cause additional sensitivity. As for exposed roots, whitening will not work because there is no enamel layer to whiten.