Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get your smile looking great.  However, there are several different ways to whiten your teeth, and it can be difficult deciding which to chose from.  We can take a look at three ways, and analyze the pros and cons of each:

Whitening Strips from Dr Fester Whitening Strips – Yes they work, but rather slowly and ineffectively. The strips are often messy and don’t stay in place. The bleach concentration is also lower (because by the nature of being OTC) and as such, it takes longer to bleach (usually at least 3-4 weeks). So the bottom line is that they do work, but the price you pay is a much longer time of wearing them.
Bleaching Trays from Dr Fester Custom Bleaching Trays – Custom bleaching trays are the next option. This involves taking impressions on you and having custom bleaching trays made. The bleach supplied is also a higher concentration. Custom bleach trays offer 3 main advantages: much better fit (and so much better compliance on your end in regards to wearing them), higher bleach concentrations because it comes prescribed from a dentist’s office and closer adaptation of the bleaching material to your teeth and as such more effective bleaching.
In-Office Whitening – This will give you the quickest results. Typically we can give you 2 week’s worth of results in about 2 hours. We place very strong bleach on your teeth with a barrier around your gums to protect them. You sit back, turn the lights down and watch TV for about 2 hours while we put fresh new bleach on your teeth every 15 minutes or so. If you are impatient to get whiter teeth, this is definitely the way to go. If I needed my teeth bleached today, this is the route I would take; I just don’t want to wear a bleach tray and want immediate gratification.

Article provided by Udent

Whitening - Before & AfterWhat you should know

If you want to whiten your teeth, the best place to start is with a healthy mouth. Tooth decay, sensitive or cracked teeth, infections or periodontal (gum) problems should be diagnosed and treated before any tooth whitening procedure. Otherwise, you could experience discomfort. The whitening process may aggravate existing problems, or the whitening process simply may not be right for you.

Begin with Dental Checkup

Rather than heading to the local cosmetic counter or shopping mall in search of tooth whiteners, start with a dental checkup. Your dentist can evaluate, diagnose and treat any pressing oral health conditions and advise you about different options to safely and effectively whiten your teeth. Your dentist also can determine whether whitening will work for you. When the dentist diagnoses the cause of the discoloration—injury, stains from food or tobacco, antibiotic treatment as a child or other causes—a suitable tooth-whitening method or product can be selected. The diagnosis is important; otherwise, you could be wasting time and money because whitening treatments work only on natural tooth enamel, not on crowns, veneers, bonding materials or tooth-colored fillings.

Many tooth whiteners are advertised on Web sites, television infomercials and the radio, as well as in magazines andWhiter Smile newspapers. The American Dental Association (ADA) is concerned about the safety of tooth-whitening chemicals and procedures that are performed without the care or supervision of a licensed dentist. The ADA recommends that if you choose to have your teeth whitened or use a bleaching product, you should do so only after consulting with a dentist. If the chemicals used to whiten teeth are not applied properly, they could damage soft and hard tissues in the mouth.

Tooth Whitening Kiosks

Recently, tooth-whitening kiosks have appeared in malls and salons. In at least one state, these kiosks have been banned. Although they may be staffed with people wearing “scrubs” or laboratory coats who may look like health care professionals, that often is not the case.

Staff running the tooth-whitening kiosk may have no health care training and no license to provide health care services. However, they are dispensing chemicals that could permanently affect your teeth and gingivae (gums).

Infection Control Techniques

Dental office staff members are trained in infection control techniques that follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. The guidelines include such procedures as changing examination gloves and disinfecting work surfaces after each patient visit, washing hands and following other infection control procedures.

Talk with your dentist about the pros and cons of different whitening treatments and what may be right for you. He or she may suggest a simple procedure that can be performed in the dental office. This procedure is called “chairside bleaching” and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may last from 30 minutes to one hour. Your dentist also may dispense a product for daily use at home for a period of weeks.

White, bright teeth are desirable, but having a healthy smile is more important. Your dentist can help you achieve not only a whiter, more attractive smile, but one that is healthy and contributes to your overall health.

Article provided by JADA

Virtually all teeth problems can be solved by the dentist. The result is not only an improvement in the smile but also an improvement in appearance and the overall quality of life. Having beautiful teeth enhances self esteem and one will no longer have to feel awkward when meeting new people or speaking in front of others. With perfect teeth, one can eat, talk, and laugh with confidence.

One of the most common teeth problems encountered is discolored teeth. There are several reasons why teeth lose their whiteness. Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and wines can stain teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth. Poor dental hygiene and inadequate brushing is also a contributing factor. Genetics also plays a role in the color of the teeth and some people just have naturally whiter teeth. With age, the outer layer of the teeth naturally wears away, revealing the dentin layer, which is naturally yellowish in color. One can prevent teeth discoloration by improving dental hygiene, regular flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleaning twice a year. Today, there are also treatment options available to whiten the teeth. Applying a bleaching agent to the enamel can remove discoloration. A light activated bleaching gel can also significantly whiten teeth in less than an hour although follow up treatments are needed. The teeth can also be covered with bonding materials. Another treatment method is by applying veneers, which may be thin composite or dental porcelain shells that are placed on the outer surfaces to cover the stained natural teeth.

Worn or cracked teeth are usually due to grinding and chewing on hard objects. The teeth can hurt when chewing or when the teeth are exposed to extremes in temperature. The treatment will depend on the type and extent of the crack. Sometimes, severely cracked teeth can no longer be repaired and would need to be extracted. This is the reason why regular visits to the dentist are very important. The dentist can spot hairline cracks, thus preventing further damage. Cracks can sometimes be restored with filling materials. If the damage has reached the nerve, a root canal treatment is done and a crown is placed to restore the tooth. In vertical breaks or split tooth or when the tooth has weakened from a cavity, the tooth may have to be removed.

Crooked teeth can adversely affect self confidence. Conventional braces have been used for years to move the teeth gradually and eventually straighten them. Typically, it takes two to three years before these can be removed. Today, there is an option not to wear these ugly metal wire braces. Especially for adults, metal braces across the teeth can be deemed unattractive. Invisible braces are made of clear plastic and are removable teeth aligners. These also require fewer return visits to the dentist or orthodontist so they are suitable even for busy people.

Another common problem is misshapen teeth. Teeth can be misshapen either naturally or as a result of extensive wear and tear. Teeth that are naturally misshapen can be covered with veneers or can be reshaped using dental bonding techniques. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that fit snugly over the natural teeth and are very effective in hiding misshapen teeth. The result is a perfect smile.

Dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are long term or permanent replacements. A dental surgeon places a titanium metal in the jawbone. After three to six months, this is naturally and completely fused with the jawbone. An abutment is then fitted over the implant and a crown is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance. Dental implants are becoming the preferred choice over bridges or removable dentures because they not only look and feel natural, they prevent bone loss that would generally occur with tooth loss.

Am I a Candidate for Tooth Whitening?

Almost anyone whose permanent teeth have come in can qualify for tooth whitening. Your dentist will be able to assess your oral health and recommend the whitening method that’s best for you. Depending on the type and severity of the staining, he or she may suggest one or more of the following treatments:

  • A professional cleaning to remove external staining caused by food and tobacco
  • Use of a whitening toothpaste to help remove surface stains between dental visits
  • For extra results, use of a convenient, affordable whitening gel or whitening strips
  • Bleaching (in-office or at-home) for more stubborn stains or yellowing
  • Veneers or bonding to fix irregular or damaged teeth or to achieve specific results

Ask your dentist which whitening technique is best for you.

  • Teeth that are yellow respond best to bleaching. Brown or gray teeth, or teeth striped or mottled from tetracycline or too much fluoride, may not whiten evenly when bleached.
  • People with periodontal disease or particularly sensitive teeth may want to avoid chemical whitening techniques that can irritate tender gums.
  • Bleaching is not recommended if you have tooth-colored fillings, crowns, caps or bonding in your front teeth — the bleach will not change the color of these materials, making them stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like veneers or bonding with your dentist.
  • In some cases involving serious tooth or jaw problems, a crown or cap recommended to correct orthodontic problems may also result in a whiter and more appealing smile.

If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for tooth whitening, call  Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA 770.587.4202 for a free consultation!

Am I a Candidate for Tooth Whitening?

Almost anyone whose permanent teeth have come in can qualify for tooth whitening. Your dentist will be able to assess your oral health and recommend the whitening method that’s best for you. Depending on the type and severity of the staining, he or she may suggest one or more of the following treatments:

  • A professional cleaning to remove external staining caused by food and tobacco
  • Use of a whitening toothpaste to help remove surface stains between dental visits
  • For extra results, use of a convenient, affordable whitening gel or whitening strips
  • Bleaching (in-office or at-home) for more stubborn stains or yellowing
  • Veneers or bonding to fix irregular or damaged teeth or to achieve specific results

Ask your dentist which whitening technique is best for you.

  • Teeth that are yellow respond best to bleaching. Brown or gray teeth, or teeth striped or mottled from tetracycline or too much fluoride, may not whiten evenly when bleached.
  • People with periodontal disease or particularly sensitive teeth may want to avoid chemical whitening techniques that can irritate tender gums.
  • Bleaching is not recommended if you have tooth-colored fillings, crowns, caps or bonding in your front teeth — the bleach will not change the color of these materials, making them stand out in your newly whitened smile. You may want to investigate other options, like veneers or bonding with your dentist.
  • In some cases involving serious tooth or jaw problems, a crown or cap recommended to correct orthodontic problems may also result in a whiter and more appealing smile.

Please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

People should avoid or limit consumption of foods and other products that stain teeth, such as tobacco, soy sauce, soft drinks, red and white wine and blueberries.Eating certain foods and avoiding others can help keep your teeth white after you’ve used an at-home whitening kit or had cosmetic bleaching, an expert says.

People should avoid or limit consumption of foods and other products that stain teeth, such as tobacco, soy sauce, soft drinks, red and white wine and blueberries.

“For many individuals who have had good results with either dentist-directed or over-the-counter whitening techniques, a significant concern is how to keep the teeth white after bleaching,” Dr. Raymond Garrison, professor and chairman of the Wake Forest Baptist Department of Dentistry, said in a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center news release.

“We now know that there are foods that actually help to keep your teeth white rather than stain them. In fact, it may help patients avoid the time and expense of whitening retreatment.”

Firm fruits and vegetables such as apples, green beans, cauliflower, carrots and celery help scrub teeth while you chew. They also help promote the flow of saliva, which neutralizes acids and protects teeth, Garrison said.

Dairy products, especially those high in calcium, and cheeses also help keep teeth white. The lactic acid in these products helps prevent decay. Harder cheeses also help remove food particles left on the teeth.

People should avoid or limit consumption of foods and other products that stain teeth, such as tobacco, soy sauce, soft drinks, red and white wine and blueberries.

While bleaching is an effective method for whitening teeth, it can cause short-term effects such as sensitivity. Too many whitening treatments can lead to permanent damage, such as erosion of tooth enamel.

Before you undergo bleaching or use teeth whitening kits, consult a dentist, Garrison advised.

For more information, please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

Why Should I Whiten My Teeth?

Maybe you’ve always wanted a beautiful white smile. Or your teeth have yellowed over time. Or you’re not happy with the staining that results from drinking coffee, tea or cola. Whatever your reason for wanting whiter teeth, you’re not alone.

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different tooth color. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors.

Surface stains and internal discoloration can be caused by:

  • The natural aging process
  • Using tobacco (smoked or chewed), drinking coffee, tea,
    colas or red wine, and eating pigmented foods such as
    cherries and blueberries
  • Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
  • Ingesting too much fluoride (more than 2 parts fluoride per million
    parts water) when teeth are forming, which gives teeth a “mottled” look
  • Treatment with the antibiotic tetracycline during childhood
  • Trauma to the teeth that may cause a brown, gray or black color

There are many reasons for whitening your teeth, including:

  • The boost to your confidence and self-esteem that comes from a great smile
  • A younger appearance
  • A special event such as a wedding, job interview or class reunion
  • To make a positive first impression on others
  • To simply reverse years of everyday staining and yellowing

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment.

Please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

How Do I Know What Shade My Teeth Are?

There’s no one standard system in the dental field to measure and determine tooth color. Nor is there an exact answer to how white your teeth can become-every person’s situation is unique. One commonly used reference tool, however, is a shade guide.

One of the more common shade guides divides tooth color into four basic shade ranges:

Tooth Shades

  • A (reddish brown)
  • B (reddish yellow)
  • C (gray)
  • D (reddish gray)

Within each range are different levels of darkness — which results in a chart detailed enough for almost everyone to find their exact tooth color on the guide.

To use such a guide, simply match your current tooth color to the corresponding color on the chart. This gives you a starting point as you determine how much whiter you’d like your teeth to be.

How white should your teeth become? That depends.

There’s no one right way to whiten your teeth. Some people want an instant and dramatic change, while others prefer more gradual whitening such as the type that results from a whitening toothpaste or gel. Final results depend on your natural tooth color, how stubborn any stains are and the treatment you choose. Keep in mind that:

  • A change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference in just about anyone’s smile
  • While whitening can occasionally change tooth color nine or more shades, the majority of people who whiten their teeth see a change of between two and seven shades
  • Each procedure has its advantages and disadvantages. Laser whitening and other in-office bleaching procedures, for example, may produce the most dramatic results, but cost significantly more

Please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

How Does Tooth Whitening Work?

There are many ways to whiten your teeth — from whitening toothpastes and other products that can remove many surface stains for very little cost, to light-activated whitening techniques in a dentist’s office that cost up to $1,000 and can produce dramatic results.

All whitening techniques work in one of two ways:

  1. Bleaching removes both deep & surface stains.Bleaching removes both deep & surface stains.Bleaching procedures change your natural tooth color, usually anywhere from five to seven shades brighter. In-office (chairside) whitening and at-home (tray) whitening both rely on bleaching. Bleaches contain an active ingredient, most often carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide in concentrations of 10-22%, which helps remove both deep and surface stains. There are significant cost differences between different bleaching procedures:
    • A light-activated whitening session in a dentist’s office, sometimes called chairside bleaching, can cost $500 or more and results in instantly and often dramatically whiter teeth. However, after a year or so of eating and drinking normally (coffee, tea, soft drinks), your teeth become slightly discolored again and develop new stains. With chairside bleaching, you have to pay the $500 to have white teeth again.
    • A custom mouthpiece created by your dentist for in-home bleaching costs around $300, and you typically wear it several hours a day or overnight for two weeks. When you notice new staining, you just wear the mouthpiece again for a night or two to take the stains off.
    • Over-the-counter products for whitening teeth (those found in a drugstore) include boil and bite tray application, whitening gels applied with a brush, and whitening strips in a price range of $10.00 to $45.00.
  2. Abrasion removes most external stains.Abrasion removes most external stains.Non-bleaching procedures work by physical and/or chemical action to help remove surface stains. All toothpastes rely on mild abrasion to remove surface stains between dental visits. Whitening toothpastes have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal. A professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist also uses abrasion and polishing to remove most external staining caused by food and tobacco.

Everyone responds differently to different whitening procedures. Some people respond well to whitening toothpastes, while people with gray teeth or other serious discoloration may require porcelain veneers or bonding (discussed elsewhere in this section) to achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted. Only your dentist or hygienist can determine what’s right for you.

Please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.