How much whitening for a touch up?

I want to do a touch up on my teeth whitening before I get a dental crown. My dentist told me the crown couldn’t be whitened so I’d need to do any whitening I wanted before hand and he’d match the crown to it. What he couldn’t tell me is how long I’d need to do the whitening. Do you have any advice regarding that?

Brooke- California


I can give you some general guidelines.  The answers depend on your current teeth. How much of a touch up is needed?  What strength is the gel you plan on using.

It is better if you can wear the gel overnight, but that will depend on how sensitive your teeth are.

One important thing is that you wait two weeks between the time you complete your teeth whitening and you have your dentist work on your porcelain crown. You need to give the oxygenation time to disperse.  That will give you your true whitened color.

I’m surprised your dentist couldn’t answer these questions. It makes me wonder if he’s qualified to do your porcelain crowns. If they’re done well, you can have a beautiful smile, but if they’re done by someone without an artistic eye and technical skill they will look pretty fake.

The top dentists in the country are AACD accredited (The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry).  You didn’t say what part of California you live in, but it is possible you could find someone with those qualifications within a reasonable driving distance. If you have trouble finding someone, let me know and I’ll help you locate someone.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.


Lemon Juice for Teeth Whitening

I read online that you can use lemon juice and baking soda mixed together into a paste to whiten your teeth. I’ve done it a few times. Now my friend says that using lemon juice is bad for your teeth. Who is right, the internet article or my friend?

Darra Lynne- Atlanta

Darra Lynne,

Unfortunately, your friend is right. You must be very careful of what you read on the internet.  Though it is a great resource, not everything is reliable.  Lemon juice is highly corrosive, because lemons contain citrus acid. That is one reason you can find citrus juices (like lemons and oranges) in household cleaners. They’re good at eroding things, which includes your teeth enamel.

In fact, if you are in the habit of drinking citrus juices or sodas (which have another type of acid), be sure you wait 30 minutes after consuming them to brush your teeth. It wouldn’t hurt to swish some water around your mouth first too, in order to help nuetralize the acids.

The best way to whiten your teeth, is with professional teeth whitening.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.

Click here to learn why some people consider him the best dentist in Tulsa.