Will My Wife’s Teeth Whitening Addiction Cause Damage?

I’ve jokingly called my wife a teeth whitening addict, but I’m starting to worry that’s she’s getting out of hand with it. Don’t get me wrong, she has a beautiful smile- it’s one of the reasons she caught my eye. But, she really obsesses over it. About two years ago, she had in-office teeth whitening done, where they put her under the lights and everything. Right after it, she started using the take-home kit. When her take-home kit ran out of gel she switched to whitening strips. Now, she buys more gel every six months when she gets a checkup, and uses it right away, and then she uses the strips about once a month between visits. She started talking about going back in for another in-office teeth whitening procedure and I think it’s just nuts. I’m afraid she’s going to destroy her enamel and wind up with serious problems. Are my worries justified?

Andy G. – North Carolina

Andy,

There are scenarios where excessive whitening treatments cause problems. This will manifest in graying or translucent teeth. Sometimes the teeth become more sensitive. Your wife is probably okay  with the amount she’s using teeth whitening products. Some people do touch up every month or so, but these are usually people who do a lot of things that stain their teeth, like drink coffee daily or smoke. Most people only tend to want to boost their color after a year or so. Bear in mind, the gel she gets in the office is stronger than the over-the-counter stuff, so when she isn’t using that, it’s harder for her to achieve the shade she wants.

Your wife is likely okay with her current teeth whitening regimen. I say that because she’s seeing her dentist regularly. He’s examining her teeth and then approving the gel. He wouldn’t do that if she was in danger of over-whitening.

Some people do touch-ups every month or so, but these are usually people who do a lot of things that stain their teeth, like drink coffee daily or smoke. It’s more common to do a touch up once a year. The over-the-counter whitening she’s using isn’t very strong and not likely to do much.

On the other hand, she could be inadvertently sabotaging her own results. Teeth have microscopic holes in them, but they’re normally closed up. As part of the bleaching process those spaces open. It can take a few days to weeks for them to close up again. So, if she’s prone to doing things that stain (coffee, cola, wine, smoking), then the teeth will absorb the stains fairly easily right after treatment.

It will help if she avoids these type of staining materials for a short bit after she whitens.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.

What Cosmetics Would I Do for a Knockout Smile?

I’ve come into a lot of money. I mean A LOT. I’m so excited. The first thing I did is buy my first new car.  Now I want to get a drop dead gorgeous smile. Where do I start?

Angela L. – Arizona

Angela,

Congratulations on your windfall.  It sounds like you’re having an exciting time right now. You didn’t mention what you were wanting to change about your smile. IF there are no other issues except cosmetics, the top of the line treatment for changing the shape, size, and color of your teeth is porcelain veneers.

However, what procedure isn’t the most important thing for you to research. The most important thing you need to do is choose the best cosmetic dentist.  That’s what can make or break your smile.

You find the right dentist. He or she will know the right procedure, and how to make it look exceptional.

My recommendation is you go to a cosmetic dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Accredited dentists are among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the world.  They have both the technical skill and knowledge, paired with artistry and proven results.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.