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Top 5 Questions from Patients on Bleaching Teeth

September 4, 2019

Before and after images of whitened teeth

People want whiter and brighter smiles these days.  We are all being bombarded with every facet of teeth whitening product from over the counter whitening strips to activated charcoal.  Drs. Boyd wants to clear up the confusion on bleaching teeth and answer our most common questions from patients.

Why are my teeth yellow?

Nobody likes yellow looking teeth.  Also, the more coffee, tea, red wine and other highly pigmented foods we consume, the more yellow and dark they get.  So, what is in our teeth that makes them dark?  Teeth have color producing molecules called “chromophores”.  These molecules give the dark stains to our teeth. The more dark foods and beverages we consume the darker these chromophores become.

How do teeth get whiter?

Whitening occurs when the chromophores in our teeth are broken down by diffusion of a whitening gel into the tooth.  The gel oxidizes the chromophores and removes their color.  The oxidation of the chromophores leave us with a white and bright tooth.

So how can I actually get my teeth whiter?

The best way to bleach our teeth is with professional teeth whitening at Drs. Boyd.  We use a combination of in-office Zoom whitening and at-home whitening to establish a long lasting white smile.  At your whitening appointment we use a high strength, light activate peroxide gel on your teeth.  The whole process takes about an hour and a half.  After your visit, you will follow special protocol at home using your custom made trays.  This combination of procedures leads to a long lasting whiter smile.

Am I a candidate for whitening?

Most people with otherwise healthy teeth are candidates for whitening their teeth as long as they are over the age of 15.  Whitening becomes difficult when patients have many tooth colored fillings on the front teeth or crowns and bridges as these types of restorations do not change color.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effect is temporary tooth sensitivity.  The sensitivity usually subsides after 24-48 hours of whitening and is not a permanent issue.  Although it can be annoying, it is not an indication that something is wrong.  We help prevent this sensitivity by having our patients use Sensodyne toothpaste 1 week prior and apply a sensitivity preventing gel in your custom trays after your in-office whitening procedure.

There is no bad time to get a whiter smile.  If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation for your whitening procedure, please call our office at (212) 755-9055.  You may also reach us by email at office@drsboyd.com.