Robert J. Moretta, D.D.S., F.A.G.D.

Robert J. Moretta, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. - Sea Cliff Dental
18652 Florida St #300 Huntington Beach, CA 92648

(714) 848-4247

Dr. Moretta provides a full range of dental services using high-tech equipment...

Bleaching: Safe or Sorry?

Bleaching: Safe or Sorry

In their quest for a brighter, white smile, many people have turned to the do-it-yourself bleaching products that are widely available. But is that a wise decision, or is there a high price to be paid for choosing a low-cost solution?

For some lucky folks, all it takes to get a super-white smile is twice-daily brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, once-a-day flossing, and regular cleanings at your dentist’s office located in Huntington Beach, CA . For most of us, however, it’s necessary to go ‘above and beyond’ this basic regimen. That’s where bleaching comes in...sometimes.

And that’s where your dentist comes in...always. Your dentist can evaluate your mouth to determine whether you are a good candidate for the bleaching process and select the best process for you and your mouth.

Have you seen commercials on television and in magazines for do-it-yourself bleaching products that promise to turn even the most stubbornly discolored teeth into pearly white masterpieces? Beware! When it comes to removing dental stains, it’s not what they say that’s important...it’s what they don’t say.

Bleaching Toothpaste

This do-it-yourself option relies on a 10% peroxide solution and can be purchased for about $10 per tube. You brush on the paste twice a day and leave it on your teeth for five minutes. The problem is that you can easily damage the enamel of your teeth as well as your gums.

So if you want to try a bleaching toothpaste, talk to your dentist first and be sure to check the label to see if the product has earned the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance.

Over-the Counter Bleaching Kit

While popular due to a modest price ($10-$15 per kit), this do-it-yourself approach to teeth whitening has not been approved by the ADA. And with good reason!

Using a home bleaching kit for more than three weeks can seriously damage your teeth. The acidic gel in OTC bleaching kits may erode your enamel and dental work. You can become nauseated if you swallow too much of it. The gel (containing a solution of 10-16% peroxide) can make your teeth sensitive to temperature for several weeks afterward.

Some kits come with a narrow peroxide tape that adheres to your teeth. Others come with mouth trays that you wear over your upper and lower teeth for a few hours a day. Advertisers claim that by putting them into hot water you can shape them to your teeth for a custom fit.

Your dentist can provide a safer, more effective version of what's in the drugstore.

Prescription Bleaching Kits

If white is your goal, Dr. Moretta, your dentist in Huntington Beach, can help you reach it with a comfortable, custom-made-just-for-you mouth tray and a more viscous bleaching gel that you're less likely to swallow. And instead of being out there on your own wondering if you’re applying the gel correctly, your dentist will check with you after a week or so to make sure the peroxide isn't damaging your dental work.

And while you still may experience some sensitivity to heat and cold during the weeks you're using the trays, your dentist can give you a fluoride gel to apply in between peroxide treatments.

Less pain and a lot to gain!

Power Bleaching

Another alternative, especially effective if your teeth are moderately to heavily stained, is known as power bleaching. For this in-office, your dentist applies a 35% peroxide gel to your teeth and then shines a strong light on them for up to two hours to accelerate the bleaching process. Safety is a top priority, so your dentist will also position a rubber dam or gum guard in your mouth to protect your gums and lips from the concentrated solution.

One thing that makes power bleaching such a pleasure is how quickly it works and how long the results last. Depending on how well you tolerate the treatment, you may choose to have it completed in one long session or a few shorter visits spaced out over weeks. Power bleaching isn’t for everyone, however, as it can irritate the tissue at the centers of your teeth, and make them very sensitive, especially if your enamel or dentin has cracks, or if your gums have receded, exposing the roots.

Schedule an appointment today with our dentist in Huntington Beach ... Call (714) 848-4247


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