Whitening Versus Bleaching
Whiter teeth can make you look younger, boost your self-confidence and even help you advance in your career. Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most sought after procedures in cosmetic dentistry. While there is a myriad of options in over-the-counter whitening products, the safest and most effective method is with your dentist. However, not all teeth whitening procedures are created equal.
Although it is quite common to use the term “bleaching” and “whitening” interchangeable when we refer to the teeth, there is a distinct difference. The FDA defines the difference by reporting that the term “bleaching” is permitted for products that can whiten teeth beyond their natural color. In essence, a bleaching protocol will whiten teeth from the inside out. However, teeth “whitening” addresses external tooth stains and simply restores the natural color of the teeth. Whiteners use strong cleansing agents to remove food and drink stains (such as coffee, red wine, etc) from the tooth’s surface. These agents can be found in toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When the peroxide is activated on your teeth, it releases oxygen molecules that enter your enamel micro-fractures. It is here that stain pigmentation can be broken down. The release of oxygen that happens during bleaching can occur over a period of time or rapidly, depending on whether or not you choose a take-home system (using custom trays) or in-office procedure (using laser or light activation).
At Gilreath Dental Associates, we proudly offer the KöR bleaching protocol because we feel it is the most effective, kindest to the teeth and tissues and longest lasting. Its developer recognized and addressed a key disadvantage of other whitening or bleaching products that often breakdown due to heat, time and saliva. The KöR System packages and designs their product to protect against these factors, allowing the bleaching solution to remain strong and untainted. Patients also report little to no sensitivity when using this system.
If your smile has dulled due to coffee, smoking or age, you can benefit from professional teeth bleaching. Gilreath Dental Associates understands the complexity of tooth stains and can recommend an effective solution.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates