Category Archives: Teeth Whitening

Getting White Teeth Fast

I had read on a dental blog similar to yours that over the counter Crest whitestrips actually works. I’ve been using them, but they seem to take forever. I want really white teeth, but need it faster because I have an event coming up. Is there a product for that?

Misty

Dear Misty,

Zoom Whitening Logo

While it is true that Crest Whitestrips really will whiten your teeth, the whitening gel concentration is pretty weak. That is why it is taking so long. It’s not Crest’s fault. Because they are over-the-counter, there are regulations on the strength they can use in order to protect patients.

If you are looking for something to get your teeth really white really fast, than I will suggest you see a dentist who offers Zoom Whitening. This is a procedure that you will do in-office and your teeth will be white in just one appointment. The gel is highly concentrated. Plus, there is a special light they use to activate the gel and kick the whitening process into gear. You’ll get remarkable results.

Make sure you ask for a take home tray so you can do upkeep and touchups in a year or so. That will save you money in the long run.

Getting a Complete Smile Makeover

single porcelain veneer being placed

Another option you have, if you’ve ever considered a total smile makeover is to get porcelain veneers. These use tiny wafers of porcelain that can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth simultaneosly. It is the go-to for Hollywood to get that celebrity smile they all seem to have.

It is quite an advanced procedure, though. You won’t want to let just any dentist do it. They need training, technical skill, and artistry. We have an AACD accredited dentist on our staff which means he is in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. If you decide you want to go the complete makeover route, find one in your area. If you have to drive to a nearby city or state, it will be worth it.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Tooth Mousse & Zoom Whitening

I have some white spot lesions on my teeth. My dentist prescribed tooth mousse for me. It is a nine week treatment. After that, if the white spots are not gone, then we will finish it up with Zoom Whitening because it is fast. However, we are hoping the mousse will take care of it on its own. Is there a chance that both those things together won’t work and I’ll need a third treatment?

Eve

Dear Eve,

someone getting zoom whitening
Zoom Whitening

I’m glad you wrote. Your dentist is sort of close on this, but not close enough for me to not give you some warnings. First, tooth mousse is a decent treatment option. However, I’m concerned he doesn’t understand the point of the treatment. It is designed to treat white spots, but mostly to remineralize the area.

White spots are precursors to decay. Using the tooth mousse will repair the demineralization that occurred to cause the spots in the first place. The company makes no claim that it will change the aesthetics of the tooth.

As for the Zoom Whitening finishing that up, it will actually make things worse. Teeth whitening, no matter what method you choose, will whiten your teeth evenly. This means the white spots will get whiter along with the rest of your teeth.

While the remineralization is a great idea. The thing that will make the teeth even in color is dental bonding. However, I would not ask your dentist to do the bonding himself. This is an advanced cosmetic procedure. If he did not understand how teeth whitening works, he will not be able to do the bonding well.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Should She Finish This Smile REconstruction?

I have worn teeth because of teeth grinding. I didn’t realize I was doing it and my last dentist never mentioned it. However, when I moved I switched dentists because of the location and this dentist pointed out a whole bunch of things I didn’t know about. The grinding makes sense and does explain why my teeth have become more sensitive in recent years. She mentioned that I would need a mouth guard to protect my teeth from nighttime grinding and to repair the teeth, most of them would need crowns. We did the lowers first and it was a bit traumatic for me. I tend to have trouble with change. Plus, I have had some gum inflammation. My dentist wants to finish the procedure, but I am hesitant. My teeth aren’t hurting as much anymore and I miss my old smile. It wasn’t perfect, but it had a quirky nature I enjoyed and fit my personality. Do I really need to finish? Could I just whiten the tops?

Patty

Dear Patty,

Woman Smiling.

I have not seen your case, so it would be tricky to give you a definitive answer, but I can give some general guidelines.

First, change is hard for some. I know. Though in my experience, when a case is done by a skilled cosmetic dentist patients are thrilled when the results are finished and grateful they went through the trouble. It’s a bit like remodeling a house. It’s inconvenient, but when it is done you have the home of your dreams. This leads me to the quirkiness issue.

These are your teeth. If you want quirky in your smile, by golly, your dentist and their ceramist can put it there. In fact, because most patients want a perfect, flawless smile, my guess is they’d be thrilled at the chance to put some character in a smile.

Finally, while you could just whiten the upper teeth, dental ceramics will be harder on your upper teeth than your natural tooth structure was. If you have structural loss from teeth grinding, that would include the upper teeth. I am afraid only doing half the fix will actually make things worse for you in the long run.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Fixing My Teeth Without Porcelain Veneers

I have some crooked teeth. All of my teeth are discolored from age. I want to improve my smile. My dentist is very keen on me getting porcelain veneers and even showed me his brag book. I hope it doesn’t sound ugly to say I was not impressed. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, so I am looking for alternatives.

Callie

Dear Callie,

Zoom Whitening

Don’t feel bad about having a high standard for your cosmetic work. These are expensive procedures that affect your appearance. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.

If you do not want porcelain veneers, that is okay. There are options. The first thing I would suggest is to deal with the discoloration. Having brighter, whiter teeth can make you look years younger. One quick way to do that is with Zoom Whitening. It can deeply whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

side by side compairison of braces
Braces versus Invisalign

Then, to straighten them, you can either get braces or Invisalign. I recommend Invisalign for several reasons.

  • They are more comfortable
  • They are invisible even at a conversational distance
  • They work faster
  • They make it easy to keep up with your oral hygiene

Both of these procedures together are less expensive than porcelain veneers. While porcelain veneers require extensive post-doctoral training for a dentist to do them well, teeth whitening and Invisalign can be done by just about any dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can Teeth Be Bleached to Match Something Specific?

I want to get my teeth very white. In fact, I have a white sweater I love that I want them to match. Is that possible or am I asking too much?

Carol

Dear Carol,

Zoom Whitening

What an interesting question. I can tell you that we haven’t found an upper bound to how white teeth can get. So, it is possible. That being said, the results of teeth whitening can be a bit unpredictable. Zoom Whitening can get them really white fast, but there is not a definitive ending color result.

My suggestion if you have a very specific color you want, would be to go with porcelain veneers. These are custom designed and the color you want can be made to order.

You do need to go to an office that employs an expert cosmetic dentist, though. We have an AACD accredited dentist who comes to our office. Smile makeovers are his art form of choice.

Whoever you end up with, make sure they use a temporary try-in paste so you can see the veneers in place and determine whether you like them or not. If you’re not thrilled, they should be sent back to the lab to make the changes you request.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Mysterious Brown Stains

Close to a year ago I started getting these mysterious brown stains on my teeth. My dentist could not figure out what was causing them. I finally went to see a natural dentist who diagnosed them as fluoride stains. I couldn’t imagine how I could be getting fluoride stains at this age, but then I read the tea I drink is fluorinated, so that must be it. Can you recommend a dentist who can do dental bonding to cover these, please? I am 60 years old and am suddenly embarrassed to smile.

Lynette

Dear Lynette,

I am puzzled at your dentist’s inability to diagnose this, as well as surprised at the natural dentist’s diagnosis. Let’s start with the natural dentist. Fluorosis stains are caused by ingesting too much fluoride while your teeth are still forming. There is no way to get fluorosis stains as an adult. A lot of natural dentists are against fluoride, which may be why he or she said that but it shows a fundamental misunderstanding about both dentistry and fluoride.

Now that we have crossed off the fluoride cause, what is it actually? At your age, there are two types of brown stains you can be getting. The first is external. These should be able to be polished off by your dentist rather easily. I would also recommend using Supersmile toothpaste. It is very good at removing external stains. Yet, unlike other whitening toothpastes, it does not cause damage to your enamel.

The second type of stain is internal. Our teeth absorb pigments from food and drink. You mentioned you drink tea. This beverage, along with coffee, is well known for its staining pigments, so that would be the top suspect in my detective notebook.

The solution to these internal stains is bleaching, not bonding. If you want to get rid of them fast, I recommend Zoom Whitening over take-home trays.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Zoom for White Spots

I have had white spots on my two front teeth since childhood. I would like to have a more evenly colored smile. My dentist suggested Lumineers but that is very expensive. I was thinking something closer to Zoom whitening or something. Would that work?

Ada

Dear Ada,

Can Zoom Whitening fix white spots?

I am very glad you wrote. What your dentist suggested is a bit of an overtreatment, unless you were looking for a complete smile makeover. Even then, Lumineers would not be my first choice in the brand of porcelain veneers to use. They’re often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists. If you didn’t suggest a desire for a smile makeover, I worry that your dentist may have been using you for practice.

That being said, while Zoom whitening is a very effective means of whitening your teeth, it will not be the solution you are looking for in this situation. Any type of teeth whitening will whiten all the tooth structure evenly. That means as your teeth get whiter, so will the white spots. This is probably not the look you were going for.

The simplest solution would be to see an expert cosmetic dentist who can do microabrasion and then dental bonding. Or, if you do desire to get a complete smile makeover, you could see that expert cosmetic dentist, but for porcelain veneers instead.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Solution for White Spots

I had braces in my mid-twenties. Yes, that is late, but my parents were quite poor and I needed to wait until I had the money to do it myself. After they were off, I noticed these white spots on my two front teeth. I asked my dentist if there was anything we could do about that and her response was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While that might be fine for her to say, they aren’t her teeth. I just spent a small fortune getting my teeth straight, I would like to be proud of them when I smile and not have people staring at my white spots. So, do you think something strong like Zoom Whitening would help? I’d have to go to a different dentist for that because my dentist doesn’t offer teeth whitening, but I’d really like to fix their appearance.

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

Patient under a Zoom Whitening light.

I’m glad you wrote. It sounds like your dentist has what we call an engineering mindset. They got into dentistry because they like to fix things. As a result, they are not as interested in the cosmetic side of things.

I am glad to hear you are willing to go to another dentist to get this fixed because that is what it will require. Unfortunately, Zoom Whitening will not be the solution though. No matter what type of teeth whitening you use, it will whiten your teeth evenly. That means the white spots will get whiter along with the rest of your tooth structure.

You have two possible solutions here. Both of them will require that you see an expert cosmetic dentist. This is important because you want a beautiful result. Check out their smile galleries to see if you like their results.

Your first option is to have dental bonding done. Whatever dentist you go to will need to carefully remove the white spots (which are actually areas of decalcification) and then place composite dental bonding on top.

If your spots are very large, I suggest you have two porcelain veneers placed on your front teeth instead of the bonding. Especially for large areas, this will give a more aesthetic, longer-lasting result.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Whiten or Replace Fillings First?

I plan on replacing my old silver fillings with the nicer white fillings. I wondered if it is better to whiten my teeth first and then get the white fillings or to get the white fillings and then whiten everything at the same time?

Adelaide

Dear Adelaide,

Teeth Whitening Trays

These are good questions and I am glad you brought them up. One important principle of teeth whitening is that only natural tooth structure is impacted by the whitening gel. Because of that, it will be important that you whiten your teeth to the color you want first. Then, you can get the white composite fillings done.

This way your dentist can match your fillings to the new tooth color you have. This is especially important if any of your fillings are visible when you smile.

Sanitary Amalgam Removal

One thing I do want you to be careful about is who you have to switch out these fillings. I do not know if you are aware of this but the silver amalgam fillings are made mostly of mercury. That is not an element you want to be swallowing or inhaling as it is a known toxin.

What you need is to go to a dentist who knows how to do a sanitary amalgam removal. It is a process that requires special equipment and knowledge. I would look for either a mercury free dentist or a holistic dentist. Either one of them should be familiar with the procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Using Home Peroxide to Whiten Teeth

Is there a reason I cannot just use the peroxide I have at home to whiten my teeth. It’s basically the same thing, right? I was thinking if I rinsed with it everyday it would have the same effect.

Callie

Dear Callie,

Great question! There are some teeth whitening principles here to think about. First, most of the color from our teeth comes from our dentin. that means in order to whiten our teeth, the gel needs to whiten the dentin.

For that to even have a chance to work, the peroxide will have to soak into your teeth, which takes longer than anyone would be willing to rinse. That is one of the reasons dentists use bleaching trays, such as the ones pictured above.

The next consideration is the strength of the whitening gel. The peroxide you have at home is likely 3%. The gel your dentist will use is closer to 35%. That is a huge difference. Even then, dentists suggest you wear their gel, that has direct contact to your teeth, for a minimum of 20 minutes. Any whitening you do will have very little, if any, effect.

If you really want your teeth whitened, I suggest you go through a dentist. Not only will you save money and comfort in the long run, but your gums will be much safer than they would with other methods, which is another reason for the custom-fitted bleaching trays. There have been cases of patients using over-the-counter whitening to end up needing a root canal treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.