Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about Teeth Whitening

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Increasing numbers of Suffolk County residents are paying for a whiter, brighter smile. From at-home kits to professional teeth whitening at the dentist’s office, these treatments are all the rage. But do at-home kits really work and are DIY methods safe? How long does tooth sensitivity last and what is the most effective teeth whitening procedure?

Experienced Long Island cosmetic dentists, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick, answer frequently asked questions about various teeth whitening treatments, including Opalescence Boost – a favorite here in our Rocky Point practice.

Teeth whitening treatments – FAQ

  1. Can you whiten your teeth at home by swishing with hydrogen peroxide?  In short, this method is not advised and can even damage the enamel of your teeth. The peroxide gel used in professional and at-home kits is formulated to be much safer for your teeth. You’re much better off brushing with a little baking soda!
  2. Is tooth whitening not a good idea for sensitive teeth? Dehydration of the tooth is what causes pain after tooth bleaching, regardless if you have prior sensitivity issues. To minimize any discomfort, we recommend taking ibuprofen a couple of hours before the procedure, and to stick with in-office treatments that are generally safer. Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we prefer Opalescence – a treatment proven to reduce tooth sensitivity.
  3. Can teeth bleaching damage the gums? Properly fitted dental trays are paramount so that the whitening agent does not touch or damage the gums. And during an in-office laser whitening procedure, your dentist will cover the gums with a protective barrier. If you do get some of the bleaching gel on your gums, temporary irritation is normal, but will resolve.
  4. How do I treat teeth stained by Tetracycline? This is one of the most challenging discolorations to fix, but the dull, gray appearance may be minimized with more powerful tooth whitening agents. In some instances, porcelain veneers may be the best solution for camouflaging darkened enamel.
  5. Which is the best teeth whitening treatment? This answer will largely be determined by your age and the depth and severity of your tooth discoloration. Many patients see great results with a combination of professional whitening, followed by at-home treatment for another week or two. We highly recommend the chemically-activated whitening agents in Opalescence Boost, which can lighten your teeth dramatically in less than one hour!
  6. How long does the pain last after tooth whitening? The good news is that many patients experience no discomfort following their teeth whitening procedure. Any “zingers” usually subside within 24 hours and residual discomfort or sensitivity should resolve within a few days.

Professional teeth whitening in Long Island

If you’re considering teeth whitening on Long Island, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the types of treatments available and what sorts of side effects to expect. In our experience, most patients can get 8 to 10 shades lighter in one in-office session, or over a period of days using an at-home kit.

To learn more about your options for a dazzling, white smile at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we invite you to call us at 631-296-0602 to arrange a consultation.

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Ava Lawson

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