Tag Archives: tooth bleaching

Lemons for Teeth Whitening

Is it possible to use lemons to whiten your teeth? I read something on a website about this method. Before I tried it, I thought it would be best if I checked with a dentist before I did something I might regret.

Angie

Dear Angie,

Lemons

You were wise to write and ask. It is the citrus acid that is the problem here. A while back I looked into an at-home teeth whitening kit that someone asked me about. It contained a citrus acid rinse that the patient would start with. This would give the tooth a frothy appearance because the acid etches the teeth. Then, they would use a white pigment that they would attach to the teeth. For a short period the teeth would look much whiter. Unfortunately, because the citric acid etches the teeth, they will begin picking up stains fairly quickly and you will end up with teeth that look darker than when you started.

The second problem you will have as a result of using lemons is the damage that the citric acid will do to your enamel. Prolonged usage will thin out your enamel. Not only will this add to tooth sensitivity but will make you more susceptible to tooth decay.

My suggestion is to have your teeth whitening done safely, with a dentist. The materials they used are proven both safe and effictive. Additionally, they use a special tray custom fit to your bite. This will make sure the teeth whitening gel stays on your teeth while simultaneously protecting your gums.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Crest 3D Advanced White Toothpaste Gunk

I don’t quite know how to explain this but will do my best. I’ve been wanting to whiten my teeth but thought I would just try the whitening toothpaste first to see what type of results I can get. It’s leaving this weird white gunk on the inside of my lips about ten minutes after I use it that makes it look like my skin is ready to peel off. Is this common and part of the process?

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

teeth whitening trays
Professional teeth whitening trays

Most whitening toothpaste that you purchase over the counter does not whiten your teeth the way that professional teeth whitening does. Your dentist would provide you with a gel that will penetrate the tooth and oxidize it from the inside out. Whitening toothpaste uses abrasives that scratch the surface of your teeth and scrub the surface stains off. While this can remove the stains temporarily it does damage your enamel which will cause it to pick up more stains at a faster rate.

I think the reason for the peeling skin you are experiencing is sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient found in this toothpaste. It has been known to produce side effects such as inflammation, skin irritation, and sloughing of oral tissues. I would stop using this because you are obviously having a reaction to it.

If you want to try a whitening toothpaste, I recommend you use Supersmile Toothpaste. This uses a protein pellicle to remove surface stains and will not damage your teeth. Bear in mind, that it will only remove surface stains, which is all that a toothpaste can do.

If you have years of stains on your teeth, you are better off with professional teeth whitening. Though it costs a little more, the results are massively better than anything else you’d get with an over the counter product, including something like whitestrips. If cost is the main issue, talk to your dentist and he or she may be willing to work with you on payment options.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Is Tanda Pearl Teeth Whitening Safe?

I have been doing some teeth whitening with a kit my dentist gave me but the trays hurt my jaw. I saw an advertisement for the Tanda Pearl Teeth Whitening System. They said with their special light that you only have to do the whitening for 5 minutes per day. My dentist has me doing it for an hour. I think only needing 5 minutes would really help my jaw pain. Do you know if this is legitimate?

Sally

Dear Sally,

teeth whitening trays
Professional teeth whitening trays

I am glad you wrote. I think I can help you. First, you should know that the whitening ingredient they use is legitimate. That will whiten your teeth. That being said, their light doesn’t seem like it is anything special and they shroud it in mystery which makes me distrust their claims about it. If it did have anything better than the Zoom light, they’d make a fortune marketing it to dentists. They do not, which makes me think it is more psychological than utilitarian.

There is something important to bear in mind, especially if you are having jaw pain. They do not use two separate trays, the way your dentist likely did. You should have something similar to what is pictured above. With the Tanda Pearl System, there is one tray that you have to hold onto with your teeth in order to keep it in. I believe this is going to cause you more pain than what you are experiencing now.

Some other considerations are the fact that the tray will not be custom fit to your bite. This means that the gel will leak out making the strength less effective. It also means your saliva will mix with the gel in the tray further weakening its effectiveness. Finally, the gel can also irritate your gums as it leaks out. You won’t want that either.

My suggestion for you is to first have your dentist look at your trays to make sure they were properly fit to your bite. If the trays are fine then you can simply whiten for a shorter amount of time. You don’t have to wear them for an hour. You can do a half hour or even fifteen minutes. Try lessening the time. I think that would be more comfortable for you than what this kit offers.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Premium Home Whitening Versus the Dentist

I want to whiten my teeth but I’ve been avoiding going anywhere with the surge of covid cases. I just feel like I need something to cheer me up. Looking online, one kit I see that has some positive reviews is Premium Home Whitening. How does this rank with what I’d get from my dentist? Will it actually whiten my teeth?

Gina

Dear Gina,

teeth whitening trays
Professional teeth whitening trays

I’ll start with the positive about this kit. The teeth whitening ingredient is valid and will whiten your teeth. So, if you decide to use this product and really stick with it, you could get some good results. That being said, I have some concerns.

Disadvantages to Premium Home Whitening

This first one I would not call a disadvantage as much as a red flag. The light they provide does nothing. It is simply a marketing ploy. Why not just sell the kit without it and lower the price. To me, that calls into question the integrity of the company and I’d wonder if the rest of what they list is true. For instance, is the whitening ingredient really the percentage they say it is?

The second is the whitening trays. These are not custom fit the way you would get with your dentist. Instead, you DIY them at home. This causes two problems with the whitening gel. Your saliva can get into the tray, which will weaken the strength of the gel. Now it will take more kits to do the same amount of work. In addition to that, your gel can leak from the tray. Not only does this further weaken the gel, but it puts your gums at risk of irritation. There have been cases where patients needed a root canal treatment as a result of an over-the-counter whitening kit because of this type of leakage.

My Recommendation

I would get your teeth whitening done with your dentist. In the long run, you should save money and it is safer. You mentioned concerns about COVID for not wanting to go in. Dentists are all taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their patients, especially at this time. Something you could request is to ask to come at a time when they have fewer patients, that way you are not surrounded by as many people. Also, some patients have even requested they wait in their car and the receptionist just texts them when it is time to go back.

I hope this helped.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Dentist Can’t Match My Crown

I need some advice. I don’t know if the problem is the dentist or the lab, but my dentist cannot get my dental crown white enough to match my teeth. I’m new to the state and am using a different dentist than I normally would. However, this is my first dental crown so I don’t really know what to expect. I only came to him because of a dental emergency and he was available. I was in a car accident and had serious damage to a canine tooth as a result. He says he is using the whitest shade possible. I do whiten my teeth, but they don’t look unnaturally white. Just whiter than what he’s offering. It’s a noticeable difference though. Is it worth it for me to drive to my old state to get this to match or am I asking for the impossible?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

I don’t think you’ll have to do anything as drastic as going to another state. I think I know what the problem may be here. Understand that this is mostly guess work, but I feel fairly confident with it. This dentist is probably a great bread and butter general dentist. He knows how to fix teeth and he does it well. However, he is more interested in the engineering factor than cosmetic work. He probably doesn’t really do any cosmetic work. This is the problem.

Old Vita Shade Guide
Old Vita Shade Guide

General dentists use a shade guide to help them match the crown they are making to your current shade of teeth (see above). He is probably using the same shade guide he’s always used. The problem with that is the popularity teeth whitening gained in the 90s. Teeth whitening does not just remove stains. It can also make your teeth whiter than even their original shade. That means the old shade guides were no longer as useful. Dental supply companies realized this and soon came out with an updated guide that included shades for whiter teeth (see below).

New Vita Shade Guide
New Vita Shade Guide

I would ask this dentist for a refund and then go to a dentist who does more cosmetic work. They will have the updated guide and can match your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

A more affordable treatment

I am looking for ways to make my dental care more affordable and I was wondering if dental bonding will save me money over porcelain veneers?

My teeth are very yellow even though I brush my teeth after every meal. It seems that you can see through the ends of my two front teeth. I’m unhappy with my smile but I don’t want it to look fake.

After the research I’ve done, I don’t think I want to have porcelain veneers done. They seem like they may not look natural and they are extremely expensive. I guess I’m wondering if simply whitening my teeth will work or if tooth bonding is a better choice for me. Or maybe I should get the bleaching done first and then the bonding? I don’t want to spend a lot of money and then have my teeth turn yellow again either. Can you explain how bonding works and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,

– Tanya from Florida

Tanya,

After hearing your case, I don’t think dental bonding is the alternative that is right for you just because you are looking to save money on porcelain veneers. Teeth whitening sounds like the best solution from what you have described. This is because good dental bonding will end up costing almost as much as veneers and it won’t last as long. In fact it would probably only last about one-tenth as long as veneers.

Teeth bleaching will take care of the yellow color of your teeth and they will not return to their original color. Your teeth will pick up stains as time passes, but you can always do some touch up bleaching to keep your white new smile.

This post is sponsored by Glibert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

Related link: affordable dentistry