As an IFBB Pro athlete and dentist, I know that a smile is very important! A beautiful smile with white teeth is very sexy; you look younger, better and grow more confident in yourself. Bleaching treatments are very popular and you can get them easily if you want to, with amazing results. But you have to be informed before you make a decision about teeth whitening. There are side effects that can be more pronounced in some patients, though these side effects, such as sensitivity, are not long term. I’m very conservative and I don’t like invasive treatments to improve your smile; you can find safe and effective home or office treatments.

These treatments are for natural teeth, and it is important to have good oral health, including healthy gums, to start a bleaching treatment. I always recommend having a complete dental checkup, including professional cleaning. You also have to have good hygiene habits to preserve the whitening and your oral health.

To start, it is very important to know tooth anatomy. We have the crown, the visible part of a tooth, and the rootis the anchor of a tooth that extends into the jawbone. The pulp is the soft center of the tooth, which contains blood vessels and nerves. Nerves transmit signals (conveying messages like hot, cold or pain) to and from the brain. The gums are the soft tissue that surround the base of the teeth. The bleaching treatments are done to the crown, but it is essential to have good gums, bone and pulp, because if you have a non-vital tooth (root canal), the color of this particular tooth is slightly different from the vital ones (darker and less translucent) and that will persist after bleaching.

It is also important to know that the crown is made up of enamel, which is the outer part of the teeth and protects deeper parts like the dentin. Enamel is translucent, so the enamel does not give teeth its color. The dentin is a hard but porous tissue located under both the enamel and cementum (outer part of the root) of the teeth. Dentin is responsible for the color of teeth and you can only get your teeth as white as your dentin is— that is why results among patients differ. The bleaching treatments are done to the enamel to get rid of stains and make color uniform.

In my experience with patients, I’ve found there are multiple causes (internal and external) for discolorations and tooth staining. It is important to remember that genetics have an important role in your own teeth color, as I stated earlier. Some external causes are medications, dark drinks, tea, coffee, cigarettes, bad hygiene habits, etc.

If you are thinking about getting a bleaching treatment, you will find two types of procedures. Both work, but one is done in the dental office and the other can be done at home. Both procedures are made with same ingredients (hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, but with different concentrations). You’ll find different brands and types of these same ingredients some with neutral pH, which can be better for your teeth. Nowadays, it’s not recommended to use light as an activator, because it is now known that heat is responsible for most of the side effects. I personally recommend a very good clinical chart and checkup before any decision is made. Talk to your dentist so he/she can prescribe or recommend the best treatment for your own particular case. 

Here are some of the office treatments— not very detailed, but at least it will help give you an idea:

• Laser or LED-light activated, one-hour, 40-minute or just 20-minute bleaching

• Non-light activated in-office bleaching

• Deep bleaching (a combination of in-office and take-home whitening procedures)

• Take-home teeth whitening kits with custom-fit mouth trays

Make sure you find a certificated dentist with experience in whitening systems so that you have a safe treatment; in my experience and opinion, this is the best that you can do. Remember your teeth are forever and you have to care for them and use the best. Health is a treasure; you can prevent injuries and have a great results searching for the best option, because you deserve that!

There are also other good options for whitening your teeth by yourself:

Do-it-Yourself Whitening Procedures OTC products: They use lower concentrations of peroxide to remove stains from teeth.

Whitening toothpastes

Dental floss

Brush-on whiteners

Whitening strips

Whitening kits

Whitening chewing gym

Some work well, but you have to be careful with your gums and never swallow the ingredients.

All bleaching treatments can have side effects, as I mentioned. Some can cause some irritation and sensitivity, both to teeth and gums. If you do bleaching procedures very often or have a very long exposure to bleaching agents, you can damage the teeth enamel, dentin and even produce damage to the pulp, which means you will need a root canal.

I hope you like my article and if you have some questions about oral treatments, consult your dentist.

Smile and smile, because smiling is free and you will look amazing! J xoxo

I love to hear comments and answer questions, so please do not hesitate to write me on twitter (@marcelatribin) andFacebook!