If your anxiety to get your teeth bleached is extreme, you might be suffering from what dental professionals called bleachorexia — a term coined to describe an extreme obsession of bleaching the teeth — to make them whiter and whiter.
If this condition describes you, Rifkin Raanan recommends being more realistic with your expectations. Your teeth will not get whiter with consequent bleaching.
According to Rifkin Raanan teeth whitening systems rely on the bleaching agent peroxide, a chemical substance that can make the teeth look whiter. Peroxide is more effective on yellow-colored teeth, lesser on brown teeth and poor on gray-colored teeth. Discolored teeth by antibiotics are likely to be resistant to bleaching.
In-office teeth bleaching: This can be referred to as chair-side bleaching. During chair-side bleaching it is required that a protective gel or rubber shield is added to your gums before applying a bleaching agent. Special lights may be needed to speed up the bleaching process. It will not take you more than an hour in a dentist office to have this done.
At-home bleaching: For people who prefer to have their bleaching done at home, Rifkin Raanan recommends a kit which can be supplied if needed. The kit contains bleaching gel and custom-made guards to hold the gel in place
Whitening toothpastes: ADA approved whitening toothpastes make your teeth whiter by cleaning, polishing and removing surface stains, they do not actually bleach your teeth.
When properly done, bleaching your teeth can undoubtedly give you that shiny white smile you want, however it can become dangerous when it is overdone. Even though approved bleaching systems by the ADA are safe as long as the given instructions are followed, when bleaching is repeated too many times, it can make the teeth translucent — appearing less white.
Hypersensitivity: Bleaching your teeth can make them more sensitive. The top dentist in Beverly Hills, Dr. Rodney Raanan said this is the number one complaint he receives from his teeth whitening patients. “Your teeth can become sensitive to hot and cold.” However, he assures hypersensitivity normally goes away over time.
Dental Irritation: It is very possible for the gums, palate and throat to become irritated, some experience nausea after swallowing some of the bleaching solutions.
Tooth Enamel Erosion: The outer coating of the teeth might wear away if you use a bleaching kit for too long or frequently. It advisable to stick with a whitening system approved by the ADA, under the supervision of an expert.
The most important thing before you start bleaching your teeth is carefully selecting the best whitening system for you. Professional dentist guidance is recomended here. A dentist at Rifkin Raanan can enlighten you on the ADA approved at home bleaching kits to lower your risks.
“Bleaching duration is determined by the concentration of peroxide used. Concentrations can range between 15 and 35 percent. The higher the concentration, the less time you need to use it.” Dr. Raanan advised.
After your whitening process, your teeth should remain white unless you re-stain them. Think of your teeth like a white cloth — keep your diet white to keep them white. Avoid coffee and tea. Brush your teeth well after eating/drinking these foods to avoid teeth re-staining.
In cases where teeth whiteners are unsuccessful or teeth are discolored by antibiotics or fluoride, schedule a consultation at Rifkin Raanan to go over other options for teeth whitening.
Most importantly, be realistic about your expectations of teeth whitening. According to Rifkin Raanan of Beverly Hills, “A good rule of thumb is that if your teeth are whiter than the whites of your eyes, it doesn’t look natural”.