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Anderson Atkins DDS Blog

The calendar is marked for your upcoming family photoshoot. You’re thinking about outfits that will match (without being too “matchy”) and praying that there is at least one picture of the whole family smiling so that you can display it proudly on your Christmas card. You browse your closet looking for inspiration while you brush your teeth one morning, thinking about a beautiful photo that displays your family’s love for one another and everyone’s pearly whites. You rinse your mouth and wonder if you should whiten your teeth before the photoshoot. After years of countless cups of coffee, you realize your bright white teeth are a bit dull. But you wonder, “Is teeth whitening safe?” “What are your options?” “Will it even work?” 

At Anderson & Atkins Dentistry, we want you to be proud of your smile and your Christmas cards. There are several options that are both safe and effective when it comes to whitening your teeth and we can help you make the decision that’s right for you.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide—bleaches that break down stains on your teeth. The bleach makes your teeth look whiter and brighter by reducing the color concentration of the stains.

Is It Safe to Bleach My Teeth?

Over-the-counter and in-office teeth whitening products are safe, though the effects differ from person to person. Some people experience a side effect of tooth sensitivity. When the peroxide gets through the enamel, reaching the soft layer of dentin, it can irritate your tooth nerve. In most cases, the sensitivity does not last. You may decide to delay treatment until your teeth are no longer sensitive, and then try again. While safety is not a concern for teeth whitening products, the effectiveness is. Some types of tooth coloration do not respond to bleach. Before you invest time and money into whitening your teeth, talk to your dentist first.

What Are My Whitening Options?

  • Over-the-Counter Bleaching Products are common, easily attainable products that you can order online or purchase at the grocery store. The concentration of the bleach will not be as strong as the products in your dentist’s office, but they can be effective. If you go this route, talk to your dentist about your options and make sure you choose a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This ensures the whitening kit has been tested and found safe and effective.
  • In-Office Bleaching is also known as chair bleaching because it typically requires one office visit. During your appointment, your dentist protects your gums by applying a protective gel or rubber shield. Then, bleach is applied to your teeth.
  • Opalescence is an at-home bleaching kit that our team at Anderson & Atkins highly recommends. We provide a custom-made tray that fits your mouth, prescription-strength whitening gel, and specific instructions on how to apply the tray and how long to wear it. Within a month, you’ll have a bright white smile again!

Opalescence gives you the perfect blend of the at-home whitening comfort and pace with the products and guidance only a dentist can provide. For more questions about Opalescence, or the best way to bring your smile back to life, contact Anderson & Atkins, DDS today.

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