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“Should I Bleach My Teeth At Home or in a Dental Office?

Who doesn’t want brighter, younger-looking teeth?

Tooth Bleaching is now very common.  This proven procedure can be done either in the comfort of your home, or in a dental office.  We recommend using a tested product purchased from your dental office for safety.  You only get one set of teeth!

After bleaching with custom trays

Should you bleach your teeth in a dental office or at home? Does it really make a difference?

Although we do a lot of “Power Bleaching” in our office where the teeth are bleached with professional strength products while the patient is in the dental chair, we have found this to only be necessary when speed is the main criteria. We have the best results and the least side effects with custom tray bleaching (our office makes the custom trays from good impressions of a patient’s teeth) using recommended tooth bleaching products.

Prior to bleaching with custom trays

Custom tray bleaching allows for bleaching of individual teeth without bleaching all the teeth at the same time.  This can be useful for hard-to-bleach teeth where it would be undesirable to bleach all the teeth and you just want the darker one(s) to catch up!

Patient wearing upper and lower custom bleaching trays. Bleaching completed to patient's satisfaction!

How should you prepare fortooth whitening?

A thorough  dental examination is necessary to make sure that you are a good candidate for tooth bleaching.  If there is any decay or periodontal disease, this should be addressed first.

How long should you wait before consuming foods and drinks that cause staining like wine and coffee?

Tooth bleaching products open up pores in the teeth and make the teeth more susceptible to staining during the time of bleaching.  We recommending avoiding these types of drinks or using a straw so that the colored and/or acidic liquids will bypass the teeth.  The pores will close by themselves with the minerals in your own saliva with time, but in our office we usually do a final fluoride treatment to seal the pores and minimize further staining at the end of the tooth bleaching process.

Beautiful and natural white smile after bleaching!

Any other tips for how to keep smile white?

Keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy AND whiter by brushing and flossing daily.  Maintain regular dental checkups and ask your dentist to monitor the color of your teeth to see if it is time for a bleaching ‘touch up’.  Teeth darken with age and although the tooth bleaching process creates a permanent color change, the teeth will continue to darken over time and a brief touch up – ideally with custom trays – may be needed periodically, perhaps once every year or two.

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC .  We feel that your dental health is the top priority, and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635. Tooth bleaching is one of the things we do that is actually fun!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles