Home Whitening Versus Dentist WhiteningAt-home whitening kits usually contain carbamide peroxide. At Dr. Fernandez Family Dentistry, we use concentrated, prescription-only hydrogen peroxide. While over-the-counter teeth whitening kits usually only lighten teeth 1 to 2 shades, prescribed versions can whiten teeth 3 to 4 shades or more, depending on the teeth’s initial discoloration. Because of the concentration, we can use less product and get better results.

One issue we hear a lot about with home whitening kits is discomfort and gum irritation. We make custom trays that fit to your teeth so they’re comfortable, and we make sure the whitening product stays off your gums to avoid irritation.

What about whitening toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste works in a totally different way. The toothpaste has an abrasive that scrubs away at surface stains, but it doesn’t go any deeper. With teeth whitening, the effect reaches all the way to the dentin, which is beneath the surface of the teeth.

Does whitening change the color of my veneers or crowns?

No. Those materials won’t whiten, but your natural tooth structure will. Is teeth whitening right for me? There are certain cases where teeth whitening will not work. Gray teeth, for example, are difficult. Sometimes trauma can cause a tooth to change colors. Consequently, these types of teeth don’t whiten well. There are also cases of speckled teeth (ex: fluorosis, “scars from braces,” or Tetracyclin staining) which don’t whiten very well either. In that case, you would want to look into veneers or crowns. Which option works best depends on the situation of your tooth or teeth.

How long does teeth whitening last?

Teeth whitening from a dentist can last up to 3 years, depending on how many stains you’re reintroducing to your teeth. It all comes down to your own unique habits.

If you want to know more about whitening, we’re happy to help. Call us today to book an appointment and we can get you on the way to a brighter, healthier smile.