Many of our patients request or inquire about making their smile whiter and brighter especially after orthodontic treatment or in cases of discoloration of the anterior or front teeth.  Tooth whitening is defined by the FDA as “restoring natural tooth color” whereas bleaching is defined as “whitening beyond the natural tooth color”.

Tooth whitening can make someone more confident in their smile and happier with their appearance. But there are risks associated with whitening and bleaching that should first be considered.

The risks include:

1.  Chemical burns to the gingiva from the bleaching gel (typically from overfilling a tray or a tray that does not fit properly)

2.  Pain associated with sensitive teeth

3.  Hot/Cold sensitivity of the teeth

Whitening should be done over a prescribed period of time to achieve the desired tooth shade but not on a continuous basis. Tooth enamel can be slightly reduced with excessive or continuous whitening.  In addition, bleaching or whitening should not ideally be attempted prior to the age of 12 years.

As previously mentioned, tooth whitening is often pursued due to discoloration of the enamel on the front teeth.  Some common causes of discoloration are:

1. Enamel hypoplasia 2. Tea/ coffee stains  3. Tobacco stains 4. Wine & Cola drink stains.

Fortunately there are a number of options for tooth whitening.  The options range from a mild effect, such as with a whitening toothpaste, to an instantaneous dramatic effect, such as with light-accelerated whitening.  Due to the potential side effects of the various whitening methods, please take the time to discuss the options with Dr. Alison or Dr. Richard to determine which option would be best for you.

Some whitening options include:

1. Whitening toothpaste  2. Over-the-counter whitening strips  3.   Whitening rinses        4. Custom tray-based tooth whiteners  5. Light-accelerated whitening

Tooth whitening can restore but not change the color of fillings or ceramic crowns that have been stained by foods, drinks, and smoking.  Therefore, it is important to consider the shade of any tooth-colored fillings and ceramic crowns prior to whitening.

Sweet Smiles 🙂

Smoothie: peeled banana, vanilla yogurt, mixed berries, and your choice of OJ or milk and blend! Remember: frozen fruit can have benefits just as fresh fruit but can be a lower cost alternative that is available all year long!   Enjoy!!!!

Fun Tooth Tidbits:

Teeth whitening is not a new thing. Ancient Romans used teeth whitening processes many centuries ago!

In a recent national survey conducted, it shows that the average amount that the Tooth Fairy pays for a baby bicuspid is $3!

Recent events:

Reid & Reid recently helped to sponsor the Henderson County Little League Baseball district tournament. Reid and Reid is already an active sponsor in  regular season baseball as well as softball in Henderson County.

Reid & Reid are happy to be involved in the first annual Cubcat crawl scheduled for 8/16/13.  This HES PTO event is designed to help all Henderson County students get in shape as well as raise money for HES.

Summer Contest:

How many goldfish are in the fishbowl?  How many whales?  Our summer contest will determine who comes the closest at guessing how many whales/ goldfish are in the fishbowl.  If you are due to come in, be sure to give us a call and make an appointment.  All patients are welcome to enter the summer contest.  The winner will get a $50 gift card!