Teeth Whitening

by John R. Treinen, DDS

Are Teeth Whitening Systems Safe?

Teeth whitening systems are safe to use as long as the directions are followed. Many teeth whitening systems have abrasives that can wear down the delicate enamel that covers the teeth. Using teeth whiteners too frequently can cause irreversible damage to the enamel that may lead to cavities or sensitivity to sweets or extreme temperatures. If a patient has any questions as to whether or not a certain teeth whitening system is safe to use at home, they can discuss it with the dentist at their yearly exam. Or, if they prefer, they can have the teeth whitening procedure performed at the dentist's office in a controlled environment.

How Often Should a Teeth Whitening System be Used?

Dentists recommend using a teeth whitening system twice a year. Teeth whitening systems that are designed for home use can be used more frequently if the patient closely follows the directions and only uses them as frequently as recommended per the instructions. In addition to teeth whitening kits that are designed for use at home, there is also a full line of toothpastes that have whitening agents included in them. It is important to follow the directions with the toothpaste as well considering many have abrasive agents that can damage the teeth. Using them only once or twice a week is recommended.

What is the ZOOM® Teeth Whitening System?

Many things a person consumes can stain the enamel of their teeth. Cigarette smoke, coffee, tea, and certain types of medications can cause teeth to turn a nasty yellow hue. In some cases, the stains may actually penetrate through the enamel and reach deep into the dentin. The ZOOM® Teeth Whitening System is a bleaching treatment that goes deep into the dentin to help lighten even the darkest discolorations. During the treatment a hydrogen peroxide mixture is placed on the teeth and a high power ZOOM® lamp is used to help activate and cure the treatment. The ZOOM® system can brighten the teeth by as many as eight shades during each treatment.

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