Why Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a fun way to improve your smile. Studies have indicated that people with whiter teeth are perceived by others as more intelligent and more successful. There are many whitening products available today, both over the counter and through the dental office. Most of us in our office have professionally whitened our teeth (including the doctors).

At Sherwood Dental Care, we offer 2 types of tooth whitening:

At-Home Teeth Whitening

At-home tooth whitening with custom fit trays from a dental office can be as effective as other whitening techniques and can be completed economically. This technique involves taking molds of your teeth and making trays specially fit to your teeth. Once the trays are made and given to you, the trays are filled with whitening gel (usually 10% carbamide peroxide), which you will wear while you sleep (or for 5 hours during the day). This process usually takes about 2 weeks to complete. Once completed, you never have to do it again, but with time your teeth will naturally continue to color, just as before whitening. To keep your teeth as white as possible you can whiten one night (or day) every 3 or 4 months.

ZOOM Teeth Whitening

There is another type of tooth whitening through the dental office called light assisted whitening (also referred to as light assisted bleaching, power bleaching, or laser bleaching). This type of tooth whitening is done directly in the dental office. It involves painting whitening gel on your teeth and using an intense light (or laser) to accelerate the whitening gel. ZOOM whitening is one of a very few light assisted whitening techniques where the light actually does make the teeth whiten faster. You may have seen this technique used in shows like Extreme Makeovers. ZOOM whitening can usually be accomplished in just one 1-hour visit. The advantage of this technique is that it whitens teeth very fast. Nothing gets your teeth whiter, faster than ZOOM. This technique probably will not get your teeth whiter than home whitening with trays but is much faster and more convenient. We do offer ZOOM whitening and if you are interested, just let us know.

There are also over the counter whitening materials. The best results we have seen are with Crest whitening strips, although they are not as effective as either of the above techniques. We have not seen good results with whitening toothpastes, and numerous studies have confirmed that whitening toothpastes do little to nothing to whiten teeth.