Teeth Whitening FAQs


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    Is teeth whitening safe?

    Yes! The active ingredient in professional whitening gels is peroxide, which is safe for the outer enamel and inner surfaces of teeth. Whitening products used by or dispensed by your dental professional should be safe to use. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that consumers look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when choosing a whitening product. This is your assurance that the product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness. Side effects from teeth whitening can include temporary teeth sensitivity, gum irritation if not used properly, and, if any of the peroxide solution is swallowed, slight nausea or a stomach ache.

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    If I have sensitive teeth am I still a teeth whitening candidate?

    I recommend that you consult your dentist prior to whitening to see if there is an obvious cause for your pre-existing sensitivity, such as cavities, areas of worn enamel or chipped teeth. If so, ask your dentist which problems need to be resolved prior to whitening your teeth. If your teeth are healthy, your dentist may advise you to use a fluoride rinse or special fluoride toothpaste to condition and desensitize your teeth before you start a whitening process.

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    How much will teeth whitening cost?

    Professional 1 hour teeth whitening procedures can cost between $500- $800 per session. Professional take-home teeth whitening trays cost about half of the professional procedure ranging from $250-$400. OTC kits, strips and gels range from $12 to $60, depending on the brand.

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    How soon will I see teeth whitening results?

    The answer to this popular question depends on the severity of your tooth discoloration and which method you select to whiten your teeth. In-office treatments provide results in one hour. Even some OTC products are powerful enough to provide results that can be seen in as little as three days of use, but can take up to 14 days. Keep in mind that results are not guaranteed and can vary from person to person.

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    Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?

    Not all stains and discolorations are treatable with teeth whitening alone. Teeth that are yellow yield the best whitening results. Teeth that have a brown discoloration also whiten fairly well.Teeth that have a grey tone or have been stained by tetracycline usually yield poor whitening results. Consult your dentist for a tooth color analysis if you truly want to know if teeth whitening is a good option for you. If your teeth are discolored brown or grey, you may need to consider porcelain veneers in addition to whitening to completely mask the discoloration.