Once, a dazzling smile was the advantage of youth, as radiance dulled over time due to diet, tobacco, medications, and dental wear. Today, adults can enjoy youthful brilliance with professional teeth whitening gel and techniques from Dr. Michael Stern in Willoughby Hills, OH.
About whitening and bleaching
While sometimes used interchangeably, there is actually a big difference. Whitening technically means returning teeth to their lightest natural state. This involves removing pigmentation that settles into grooves and pits in tooth enamel, usually by abrasion. For example, a toothpaste containing calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxide, or dehydrated silica gel helps to scrub away stains. However, this may be counterproductive in the long term, creating enamel scratches that trap discoloration.
Bleaching is a chemical process that lifts extrinsic (surface) and intrinsic (internal) pigment particles. Thus, teeth can become whiter than natural – dramatically, if you prefer. The brightening agent is a form of peroxide. Its molecules penetrate microscopic tubules in enamel where stains embed. Through a process called oxidation, pigments are broken up and lifted away. This method works well for surface stains from coffee, tea, cola, and red wine, as well as deeper discoloration.
Is professional better?
Yes, for most patients, for these reasons:
• Dr. Stern uses a prescription bleach solution on teeth. The gel has greater stain lifting capability than mouth rinse, strips, or gels available at retail stores.
• The products and techniques he recommends are FDA-approved.
• The product is applied via custom-fit trays. Shaped something like mouthguards, these trays keep the bleaching solution where it belongs, and they are comfortable.
• Because retail brighteners are not as effective, people may over-use them. That can lead to sensitivity, or injury to soft tissues.
• If you have very sensitive teeth, Dr. Stern can adjust your program – reduce the strength of the gel, add a special buffering ingredient, or modify your treatment schedule.
We want you to smile brighter for life! We reward patients who maintain good dental care with complimentary professional teeth whitening gel during regular checkups at our OH office. Call (440) 210-0999.