When you are seeking solutions for stained or discolored teeth, Carefree Dentists can provide you the options that best fit your needs.

According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleaching materials – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

The term “whitening,” on the other hand, refers to restoring a tooth’s surface color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used — even when describing products that contain bleaching materials.

There are two categories of staining as it relates to the teeth: extrinsic staining and intrinsic staining. Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the surface of the teeth as a result of exposure to dark-colored beverages, foods, tobacco, and routine wear and tear. Intrinsic stains are those that form on the interior of teeth. Intrinsic stains result from trauma, aging, exposure to medications (like tetracycline) during tooth formation and/or excessive ingestion of fluoride.

Two popular teeth whitening options are available at Carefree Dentists. Both rely on varying concentrations of peroxide and varying application times. Your dentist will help you decide which method will provide the most improvement.

In-Office Whitening: Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This protocol involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by a trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on barrier dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 minute intervals. Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised continue with a home-use whitening system that is included with this service.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Trays: Take-home kits include custom fitted trays with an easy-to-use peroxide gel that remains on the teeth for a directed amount of time. The trays are easy to apply clear, plastic shells that are worn comfortably.