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FAQ's about Teeth Whitening - Cont'd

Please note: Results vary and the information below is given to assist you in making an informed decision. Neither dentist.net nor the manufacturers guarantee any particular result.

Teeth Whitening Instructions | Opalescence Gel Questions

20. I have tetracycline (grayish) stained teeth and want to whiten my teeth!

Tetracycline is difficult to whiten. Results vary and results, if any are not guaranteed. If you have bleached your teeth with another bleaching agent, the results will most likely not show much improvement with another brand. Bleaching tetracycline teeth can sometimes cause uneven whitening, horizontal tetracycline lines to become more prominent and even blotchiness. Some cases lighten evenly and customers are pleased with the results. Accepting any bleaching product for use, is accepting all the possible risks that could arise from tooth bleaching products. With tetracycline staining you may want to consult with a dental professional for your whitening needs. Tetracycline stained teeth may need to be bleached for a few months to show results.

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21. How long can I try and bleach my tetracycline-stained teeth?

It is acceptable to continue bleaching up to 6 weeks for normal teeth. Some literature suggest than one can even safely whiten for up to 6 months for those who have tetracycline-stained teeth. We feel that an 8 week regime should suffice. If you feel you reach a whitening plateau and your teeth do not get any whiter, that would be a safe termination point.

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22. Is taking my own molds be a problem if I have a bridge and/or an orthodontic wire glued to the back of front teeth?

If mold material gets trapped underneath the wire or bridge, it can loosen your bonded retainer/bridge or you might have difficulty removing the mold from your mouth. You may want to rather get the molds done at your dentist if you have a bridgework. We cannot be responsible for any complications.

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23. My kids have white "spotty" teeth. Will whitening be help?

White spots commonly come from too much fluoride during tooth development. This condition is known as Fluorosis. Although it might look imperfect, these teeth are extremely resistant to cavities. White spots can also occur after orthodontic treatment in the area of the orthodontic brackets. This is decalcification as a result of inadequate hygiene and in these situations, these areas are more susceptible to cavities.

There has been no research conducted on bleaching and kids. There have been a few cases reported in the literature with no adverse effects besides temporary tooth sensitivity. We recommend to wait until all the teeth have FULLY erupted otherwise the un-erupted tooth portion will not be bleached. White spots will initially get whiter quicker, but becomes less prominent as the surrounding tooth structure bleaches and becomes whiter. The white spots will usually return to their normal whitish color but will be less conspicuous as the background is now whiter. Results vary and one cannot guarantee a result.

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24. Zoom has only 6% hydrogen peroxide while Day White comes in both a 7.5% and 9.5%. Surely that means that Day White is stronger?

The Zoom 6% Weekender kit is a 6% hydrogen peroxide formula but unlike Day White it is worn overnight. The hydrogen peroxide works over a longer period of time because there is a unique time release active matrix built in that controls the release of the hydrogen peroxide. Zoom also contains a surfactant, which lowers surface tension allowing more intimate contact between the bleaching agent and the tooth surface. Because of this there is an associated increase in tooth sensitivity. Zoom weekender is worn for only 3 nights. If you want something stronger then Day White & Nite White and you do NOT have tooth sensitivity or suffer from post-bleaching sensitivity or if you need to have whiter teeth for a social deadline then Zoom Weekender might be your fastest route.

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25. What is the difference between Opalescence F and Opalescence?

The F stands for fluoride and the PF is fluoride and potassium nitrate. Both are incorporated into the bleach to combat tooth sensitivity. The PF is thought to be better as it has the potassium nitrate as well as the Fluoride. It will bleach the same but PF is expected to cause less tooth sensitivity.

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26. It is very difficult to spread the bleach in my custom whitening trays. Do you have any suggestions for distributing the gel more evenly?

 All you need to do is place a continuous line of bleach half way up on the inner side of outer wall of the whitening tray so that it forms a rope line of bleaching gel which will not run or slump. When you place the tray over the teeth, the teeth will displace the gel to cover the tooth surface (i.e. the teeth will spread the bleach).

You can see where the bleach covers the tooth and if it appears deficient in an area, you can merely touch the tray gently on the outside to move the bleach around. The gel consistency should be thick and viscous. By creating the gel with increased viscosity allows better retention of the bleach against the tooth surface and therefore more effective even whitening.

If you are refrigerating the product, allow it to sit for a few hours before using it to allow it to be more flow able.

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27. How do you prevent the bleach from oozing out between applications?

Withdraw the plunger slightly after use to decrease the hydraulic pressure within the syringe. This will prevent it from oozing out.

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28. Can I order an upper bleaching tray only? I have the molds.

For those of you who already have molds but need whitening tray, Dentist.net offers a service to have custom made whitening trays with no dental visit.

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29. During bleaching my gums were burning, leaving several areas of my gums white. Is this due to overfilling?

Either your trays are covering the gum area or you overfilled the trays. All you need is either to place a small droplet in each tooth or a bleach line midway across the inner outer wall of the tray. The gums will return to normal in a few hrs i.e. the whiteness will disappear. Avoid any further bleaching until healed. Avoid hot and spicy foods till then. Next time use less and use for 15 minutes and then increase the time on subsequent bleaching periods.

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30. Will Crest Whitestrips also cause tooth sensitivity.

Yes, all whitening products cause tooth sensitivity, but it will cease a few days after you stop using whitestrips. If your teeth are sensitive, use the strips once and repeat a few days later when the sensitivity subsides. Keep in mind that all bleaching agents cause tooth sensitivity.

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31. As noted in your instruction sheet, I placed the Nite White Excel whitener in my refrigerator upon receipt. I realize this was optional, but I thought it would do no harm. However, when I started to use the whitener, I noticed that the package stated that the syringes were not to be placed in the refrigerator or freezer. Since they were in the refrigerator for several days, will this impair the effectiveness of the gel?

The bleaching instructions are generalized bleaching instructions. Bleaching gels are made from different ingredients. Nite White whitening gel does not need to be regularly refrigerated while the Opalescence brand of whitening gel does need refrigeration for long term storage due to glycerin content. Nite White does not recommend refrigeration as it could cause the gel to get cloudy/milky. It does absolutely nothing to the efficacy of the gel- it just looks cloudy.

Nite White Excel is glycol based which is more stable than glycerin and so Nite white claims a 2 year un-refrigerated shelf life. Most regular bleaching gel has a one year shelf like and 2 yrs refrigerated. In summary, its not harmful to refrigerate (but do not freeze) bleaching gel. We do recommend to allow the bleaching gel to reach room temp before use for maximum efficacy.

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32. I had Zoom treatment one week ago. I have been using the bleaching trays with 22% gel since. I was instructed to use them for two applications per day, not to exceed 1 hour per application. Unfortunately, I fell asleep twice while wearing the trays and as of yesterday I feel as if my front teeth became "rough" feeling. Upon closer inspection under bright light, it seems to me I can see almost some duller areas on my teeth and then very smooth areas. Have I caused enamel damage and, if so, is there a way to correct this?

Most of the research on whitening has only been done with 10%. The manufacturers don't feel that the higher percentages can cause damage but just like when one drinks or eats acidic foods there is the depletion of minerals from the teeth which is put back by our saliva. This process is dynamic occurring all the time. There are some remineralization toothpaste which contain these important minerals in form that is thought to be absorbed into the tooth surface. We recommend the use of these kinds of toothpastes during tooth bleaching. It is also thought to help with tooth sensitivity. I recommend you refrain from bleaching, use one the remineralization toothpastes until such time as the tooth surface feels normal. Click here to view the new generation of remineralization toothpastes.

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33. I wanted my teeth glistening white but it is costly. I have been brushing my teeth with baking soda for a few months and now I have sensitive teeth. I always have bi-annual dental check ups and my dentist told me that I have neither gum disease or receding gums. What products do you recommend?

With regards to your sensitive teeth I would recommend you review these FAQs. Its not normal to have sensitive teeth and it can be diagnosed and treated appropriately. We always recommend a second opinion when it comes to ones health. We don't usually make recommendations as we cannot be responsible for returns but here is a few suggestions to help you make an informed decision. As far as tooth sensitivity goes one can treat it symptomatically with either Sensodyne toothpaste (any toothpaste containing Potassium Nitrate). Keep in mind that these toothpastes are recommended to be used for a few weeks. What we feel are currently more beneficial are the recent launch of the remineralization toothpastes which not only address tooth sensitivity but have also been shown to remineralize the toothpaste thereby helping to reverse small cavities. I would recommend the ORAVIVE toothpaste as a choice for regular use.

Bleaching does cause and aggravate existing tooth sensitivity so we feel its important to address the teeth sensitivity first by using the Oravive or Sensodyne for a few weeks before tooth bleaching. We also recommend you by the Dr. Collins Desensitizing Gel to be used before and after the bleaching procedure. Please see this page for more info.

Please review some whitening choices here.

Some better methods to whiten ones teeth are Dentist.net Bleaching Kits and Boil and Bite Bleaching Kits.

Once your teeth are whitening we recommend the regular use of a whitening toothpaste. We recommend SuperSmile and BriteSmile

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