Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to improve your smile in Anchorage. It is quick, affordable, and non-invasive. Though some Anchorage cosmetic dentistry patients experience short-term sensitivity, most experience no tooth whitening pain at all.
Teeth Whitening Basics
Teeth become discolored over time because stain molecules settle into rough spots and tiny cracks in your teeth. These stain molecules come from foods, drinks, and other sources of exposure like tobacco.
Teeth whitening works by breaking down these stain molecules so they neither cling to your teeth nor discolor them. In most teeth whitening, the active ingredient is peroxide. Peroxide is very effective at breaking down stains, so it is capable to get brighter teeth quickly, or with only a short exposure every day.
Benefits and Limitations of DIY Teeth Whitening
There are many DIY teeth bleaching products available in Anchorage and it seems like new ones appear every time you visit the toothpaste aisle at your Anchorage grocery or drug store.
These tooth whitening strips and tooth whitening pens can sometimes whiten your teeth a few shades, but the peroxide concentration is much lower than the whitening solutions used in Anchorage cosmetic dental offices. It may not be strong enough for your tooth stains. Plus, it’s very easy to apply these solutions unevenly, resulting in partially whitened teeth that make the discolored parts look darker. Otherwise, these products are effective and safe when used according to instructions.
We do, however, strongly caution against whitening toothpastes, which typically contain strong abrasives. These abrasives can whiten your teeth by scraping away stains. Unfortunately, they also scrape away tooth enamel, which your body can’t replace. Over time, your enamel gets thin. Your teeth darken because the dentin under the enamel is yellow, brown, or gray. This makes your teeth darker in ways that don’t respond to whitening in the future.
We also recommend against trying to make a whitening formula at home. The recipes you find for this on the Internet are generally ineffective, and often harmful to your teeth.
Avoid Whitening Professionals Who Aren’t Dentists
Tooth whitening offered at Anchorage mall kiosks is risky. Most of these teeth whitening businesses in Alaska have no professional oversight and the employees have little dental training. They might have access to strong whiteners, but if they don’t use them properly, you might end up with irritation, burns, or uneven results.
Work with a Dentist for Whitening
When you work with a dentist, we have access to the strongest whiteners on the market, and we know how and when to use them. We will examine your teeth and make sure they are healthy enough for teeth whitening. We will also make sure that your discoloration will respond to whitening. Some causes of discoloration, like thin enamel, decay, metal fillings, and tooth damage, won’t respond to whitening. These require a solution like porcelain veneers. Veneers can cover even the most discolored teeth so you can enjoy a beautiful smile.
We can also adjust our whitening formula to help you avoid tooth sensitivity. Sometimes this might mean using a more dilute solution. Other times, we might use additions that strengthen your teeth to avoid sensitivity.
Even though Anchorage teeth whitening seems fairly straightforward, your teeth deserve a professional opinion. After all, we are talking about teeth here. You can’t fix an uneven teeth whitening result like you can a bad hair-coloring job. There’s no way to cover over the coloration, and you certainly can’t cut it off and let it grow back!